Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon
Finance Minister Moshe KahlonPhoto by Meir Vaknin/Flash90

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) announced that Bank of Israel governor Karnit Flug will be replaced by University of Pennsylvania finance professor Amir Yaron.

Flug, 63, became the first female chief of the Bank of Israel in November 2013, when she was tapped for a five-year term. Flug indicated earlier this year that she would not seek a second five-year term, and will be stepping down next month.

Yaron, who teaches banking and finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School – President Donald Trump’s alma mater – will replace Flug on November 12th, pending approval by the committee for senior appointments, as well as the full Knesset.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics from the University of Tel Aviv in 1985 and 1988, Yaron earned an additional Master’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 1992, before receiving his doctorate there in 1994.

“It was a difficult decision,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “Professor Yaron is one of the leading experts in the field of financial risks. He is one of the most important experts in the world. No less important, however, was the fact that he served for five years as an officer in the financial advisor division for the IDF Chief of Staff, and worked ‘hands on’ in handling money.”

“In the past, I endorsed Stanley Fischer,” Flug’s predecessor at the Bank of Israel, “and I tried to also get Larry Summers,” President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary. “We must get the best talent in the field, and I’m happy that Professor Yaron accepted the offer made by the Finance Minister and myself.”