The primary purpose of CERGE from the beginning has been to educate the future economic elite in the former Soviet bloc countries and to place graduates at IMF and IBRD. This was to be achieved through creating an American style PhD program with emphasis on research. The success has been remarkable! Cerge has produced more than 100 PhDs and, in my opinion, established a reputation for reserach on the level of top 50 US graduate schools of economics. Its graduates are dispersed throughout former Soviet bloc countries as well as in western Europe and USA. Given the intial circumstances in the Czech republic, I would consider it a miracle!
I've been aware of the CERGE-EI Foundation and the excellent teaching program in Prague for more than a decade. I have also had the privilege of meeting several CERGE graduates - including one who gave a very well-received presentation at a Washington D.C. conference organized by a World Bank employee. Seeing is believing: The proof of an educational institution is its graduates, and CERGE graduates are top-notch.
I am working as a CERGE-EI Foundation Board Member for almost three years now and have experienced the outstanding committment of the people who manage CERGE as well as the excellence of its students as well as professors. CERGE is clearly commited to absolute quality in education as well as research in economics with the goal to bring top level educated and skilled economists back to their countries where they are needed to further improve the development of their countries. My experience is that this works very well and creates an international network of skilled experts in economics which is very much needed in a further intergrowing (economic) world to the benefit of all countries. CERGE-EI clearly has my fullest support
I am continually impressed by the vitality and promise of the diverse CERGE-EI student body and by CERGE's success in educating students from developing countries in modern economics. The doctoral program attracts the most promising students from a wide range of regions and educational backgrounds. Moreover, a huge percentage of CERGE-EI graduates remain in the region to serve in creating and implementing economic policy for developing countries that are often still emerging from the effects of communism. CERGE's program is extremely cost-effective and ranks among the best efforts at making possible a rational, productive future for this region and the world.
I have seen the organization make a difference in the lives of hundreds of young men and women and, through them, vast regions of the world. No other organization I support gets as much "bang for the buck."
CERGE has in the last decade or so changed the nature of Economics education in central Europe. It has been instrumental in jump starting research and bringing the Economics profession out of the planned economy world and into the modern world in no time. Its mark is seen everywhere - CERGE students have excelled and the assistance from CERGE-EI is enormously important.
CERGE-EI started almost 20 years ago while I was directing The Andrew W. Mellon's East European program. From the very beginning it aimed at becoming the best modern graduate economics program in Eastern Europe, which it has succeeded at through the concerted efforts of donors, local faculty talent, imported faculty talent and outstanding student material. It is a highly rated program in the panoply of European efforts to teach advanced economics and I am pleased and proud to have been associated with it.
I have been connected with CERGE-EI for well over a decade and for much of that time as Treasurer and Chairman of the CERGE-EI Foundation. Every year I visit the institution in Prague and meet the students. Seeing these talented and committed young men and women investing hard in their education is an inspiration. They work to the highest of standards and they come from countries often desparately in need of well trained economists.
CERGE-EI is a world class economics research and Ph.D. granting institution. In a short 20 years it has attracted top faculty and top students. Its conferences are among the most compelling in the profession. It also is deeply involved in both economic policy and capacity building in central Europe.
In addition to first class economics research, CERGE-EI provides and pays instructors to teach undergraduate economics courses in countries that have only recently been exposed to market economics. Many of these students work in their various government ministries helping apply what they have learned to the economic advancement of their home countries and the general betterment of their people. This is a great organization promoting world peace, prosperity, and cooperation through education.
My first contact with CERGE was a decade ago. A Ukrainian working on her Phd there came back to Kiev on a research fellowship to the Economics Education and Research Consortium in Kiev (now the Kyiv School of Economics). It was clear from her experience that CERGE was doing cutting edge research, and that Ukraine would benefit from that research. This student subsequently got her Phd and is teaching at Charles University---the first of many Ukrainians to benefit from training at CERGE. So when I was invited to my first CERGE research conference, under the auspices of the Global Development Network, I jumped at the chance----and have never regretted it.
The sole purpose of this foundation is to support the teaching and research at a graduate program in economics--the CERGE-EI in Prague. Our goal at the foundation has been to permit this fledgling institute to support graudate students and faculty to build the infrastructure that was missing from the previously Communist states of much of Europe. I support the goal and I believe the Foundation has played a key role in permitting CERGE-EI to compete with institutions of Western Eukrope, which is critical to maintaingin a presence in Eastern Europe. In all my experineces the Foundation has been cost effective, committed, and essential to its purpose.