Rakesh Mohan ’71 has been appointed professor in the practice of international economics and finance at the School of Management and senior fellow in the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, University President Richard Levin announced on March 12.
The former deputy governor of India’s central bank, Mohan joins the Jackson Institute as one of at least four fellows the newly endowed center is enlisting as it revamps Yale’s international studies and international relations program. The Jackson Institute was formed when John Jackson ’67 and his wife, Susan, donated $50 million last year — a gift that will go largely toward paying the salaries of four new tenured professors and fellows.
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At a time when U.S. policy has faced widespread criticism on the international stage, Mohan said on Monday that he hopes the new professors and fellows coming to Yale as part of the Jackson Institute will help to diversify perspectives available to the student body.
“I would hope that we can share with students some of the excitement (and frustrations) that come with life in public policy-making,” Mohan said in an e-mail.
Jim Levinsohn, the Institute’s new director, said in an e-mail that he is “thrilled” about Mohan’s appointment, adding that the former deputy governor will be able to draw on his extensive experience while teaching.
“There aren’t that many professors who can start a lecture on exchange rates or interest rates with the phrase, ‘When I was setting interest rates for about 1.2 billion people, I…’ ” Levinsohn said in the e-mail.
At the time of the donation, Jackson told the News that he and his wife thought strengthening international relations and international studies programs at Yale was an important endeavor. To accomplish this, the Jackson Institute aims to bring “world-class policy practitioners” to Yale, Levinsohn said, noting that Mohan fits that bill. Mohan will teach a course on international studies next fall, though the details of the class have yet to be determined.
In addition to serving as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank from September 2002 to October 2004 and again between June 2005 and July 2009, Mohan has also served as India’s finance secretary and the director-general of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, among other positions. He has authored three books on urban development and urban economics.
“I have had the good fortune of working on a very wide range of public policy issues during my professional career, including housing and urban development, industrial development, infrastructure, competition policy, national security, fiscal policy and finally monetary policy,” he said in an e-mail.
Mohan currently holds the positions of non-executive vice chairman of the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, a privately funded research institution, and Global Adviser to the McKinsey Global Institute, the business and economics research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company.
“In all these functions I have essentially acted as a bridge between the world of economic research and policy [practice],” Mohan wrote in his e-mail. “I hope that I can bring to the classroom and other discussion fora in Yale SOM and the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs some first hand experience of the world of policy making that may be of benefit to students as they contemplate their future careers.”
Mohan came to Yale in 1969 as a transfer student after earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. He graduated with a bachelor’s in economics from Yale, where he said he was the only Indian undergraduate at the time, and he went on to earn a master’s and doctorate in economics from Princeton.
Mohan called it a “great honor” to return to Yale as a professor. His appointment begins on July 1.