The Asian Development Bank has appointed Dr. Jong-Wha Lee its main spokesperson on economic forecasts and trends. The South Korean national has served as chief economist in acting capacity of the Economics and Research Department since October 2008.

Lee, who has more than 20 years of professional experience as an economist and academic, joined the bank in 2007. He currently leads ADB's Office of Regional Economic Integration.

He said he looked forward to helping the ERD develop its already solid reputation of generating robust data for ADB's member countries.

"Now more than ever Asia's evolving development landscape requires that the development community and policymakers receive the best independent, objective research and policy advice, precisely what ERD strives to provide," Lee said.

The department produces ADB's annual flagship publication, the Asian Development Outlook, which forecasts economic trends in the region. It also undertakes economic and policy research and leads capacity-building efforts. In addition, it supports ADB operations and networks with the international research community.

Lee's international career includes stints at the International Monetary Fund, Harvard Institute for International Development, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Program and World Bank. He has taught at Harvard University as a visiting professor.

His career at home is equally impressive. He was a member of the National Economic Advisory Council in the Republic of Korea, director of the International Center for Korean Studies, and professor of economics at Korea University.

His published works tackle human capital, growth, financial crisis and economic integration.

Lee obtained master's and doctoral degrees in economics from Harvard University, as well as bachelor and master's degrees in economics from Korea University in Seoul.

About the author

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    Josefa Cagoco

    Sef Cagoco served as one of Devex's international development correspondent from mid-2008 to mid-2009. Her writing focused on social entrepreneurship and multilateral agencies such as the U.N. and Asian Development Bank. She previously worked as senior reporter for the national daily BusinessWorld and a production journalist for the Financial Times.