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!
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 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.