Press Release: Statement by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on the Death of Jacques Polak

February 27, 2010

Press Release No. 10/68
February 27, 2010

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today after learning of the death on February 26, 2010 of Mr. Jacques Polak, who was the last surviving participant in the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 at which the IMF was created. Mr. Polak later served in various senior capacities at the Fund for nearly 40 years, including as the IMF Economic Counsellor:

“It is with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Jacques Polak, an iconic figure in the long history of the International Monetary Fund. Jacques's distinguished career as an economist--a career that spanned eight decades--established him as a leader of critical thought during the post-war evolution of the global economy.

“His work on exchange rate policies and the international monetary system following World War II was at the cutting edge of the profession. We have honored Jacques by naming our annual research conference after him. This conference will remain a testament to his service to the IMF and the monetary system.”

Mr. Polak, who was a member of the Netherlands delegation to the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, joined the staff of the IMF in 1947, serving first as Chief of its Statistics Division, and then, from 1958 to 1980, as Director of the Research Department. In 1966 he was appointed IMF Economic Counsellor. After his retirement from the IMF in 1980, he returned as Executive Director for the Netherlands constituency from 1981 to 1986.

For additional background information on Mr. Polak see:


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