FALL 2014 SEMINARS - September 3



Dear Iranian Studies Seminar Members and Guests, The first meeting of the 27th consecutive year of Columbia University Seminar on Iranian Studies for the academic year 2014-2015 will take place on:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
at 5:30 pm in the
Faculty House of Columbia University
Our speaker will be

Mr. Hassanali Mehran
Former Governor of Central Bank of Iran and
Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance
who will lead the discussion on the topic of:
The Goals and Policies of the Central Bank of Iran: 1960-1978

We will gather in the lounge of Faculty House from 5:00-5:30.
Seminar will start at 5:30.


This talk, based on the book on the goals and policies of the Central Bank of Iran, 1960-1978, presents data to show that in an oil exporting developing country with a large population what matters the most in economic development is the fiscal policy of the government and the manner in which oil income is spent. There was of course a role to play, limited as it was, for an independent central bank in economic management but only as part of Iran’s overall economic policies. The Central Bank of Iran was a model institution for its time whose operations were governed by the law under which it was established. Under that law the Central Bank was not assigned a single purpose such as price stability which in any event is achievable only when monetary and fiscal policies are fully coordinated. In this context there are many lessons to be drawn from the experience of the 1960s and 1970s to understand the economic problems and policies for Iran of today.


Mr. Mehran, a graduate in Political Science and Economics from the University of Nottingham, England, also holds a Master’s degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University.  He started his career as a research assistant and later was a lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Bristol, England.  During his time at Bristol, he also did post graduate studies in National Income and Flow of Funds Accounts. He joined the IMF in 1968, as an economist in the Exchange and Trade Relations Department.  He left the Fund in 1969 to become Director-General of Research in the Ministry of Economy, Iran.  In 1971, he was appointed as Vice-Minister for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economy; in 1973, he was appointed as Deputy Minister, in the newly formed Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance; in 1975 he was appointed as Governor of the Central Bank of Iran. Subsequently he served as Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Minister of Budget and Planning, and Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance.

Mr. Mehran rejoined the Fund in 1979, as a consultant in the Middle East Department; in 1981 he joined the staff of the fund and was appointed Advisor in the Central Banking Department.  In 1986, Mehran was assigned by the Fund to establish the Central Bank of Aruba and also to serve as its first President.  In 1987, Mehran resigned from the Fund to serve as the President of the Aruban Investment Bank, and Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, government of Aruba.   Mehran was reappointed to the Fund staff in 1992 as Advisor, Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department (MAE), and in 1995 was promoted to the position of Assistant Director.  Mehran was appointed Senior Advisor and Senior Personnel Manger, MAE, in May 1996.

During his 20 year career with the IMF, Mehran’s main area of work was Central Banking and he was responsible for IMF’s Technical Assistance Program for central banks.  In that capacity, he worked closely with and visited over 50 Central Banks in Africa, Central and South East Asia, and Europe.  He advised the Central Banks on their organizational and corporate structure, the appropriate degree of operational autonomy, monetary and exchange rate policies and supervision of the financial system.  He also headed IMF-World Bank joint financial sector assessment missions to the Czech Republic and Switzerland. 

Mr. Mehran’s publications other than a number of articles and book reviews include: External Debt Management, 1985Interest Rate Liberalization and Money Market Development, 1995Monetary and Exchange System Reforms in China:  An Experiment in Gradualism, IMF Occasional Paper Series No. 141, 1996; Financial Sector Development in Sub-Saharan African Countries, IMF Occasional Paper Series No. 169, 1998

Please notify our rapporteur, Zainab A. Azarbadegan at: <zaa2117@columbia.edu> if you will attend the lecture. (Please also specify if you will stay for dinner.)
We are looking forward to the pleasure of seeing you at the seminar.

Co-Chairs: Vahid Nowshirvani and Ahmad Ashraf

To reach the Faculty House:

Enter the Wien Hall Gate on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Walk past Wien Hall, then turn right to the Faculty House.

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