Marek Marian Belka is a Polish professor of Economics, a former Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Poland, former Director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) European Department and former Head of Narodowy Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland).
Belka graduated from the Socio-Economic Department of the University of Łódź in 1972 and later studied on scholarships at Columbia University, University of Chicago and London School of Economics. He holds an M.A. in economics of foreign trade and a PhD in economics from the University of Łódź. He became a professor in 1994.
From 1990 until 1996 he worked as consultant for the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Poland and the World Bank. He served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in 1997 and from 2001 to 2002; and as an economic consultant of the President of the Republic of Poland in the meantime. He also served as Adviser to the Prime Minister of Albania from 1997 to 2001 and to JP Morgan for Central and Eastern Europe from 2002 to 2003. In 2003 he was responsible for economic policy in the interim coalition administration of Iraq. In 2005 he was a candidate for the post of OECD Secretary General, but lost to José Ángel Gurría.
He was designated Prime Minister of Poland by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski on 29 March 2004 and sworn into office the next 2 May. He failed to receive the required parliamentary support on 14 May, but on 11 June he was designated again. On 24 June he finally managed to receive enough support in the Sejm – the Lower House of Polish Parliament – winning a vote of confidence by a majority of 235 votes to 215.
From 2006 to 2008, he was Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe(ECE).
Belka received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 2006.
On 15 July 2008, Mr. Strauss-Kahn named Marek Belka as Director of the IMF’s European Department, a position Belka took up on 1 November 2008.
On 27 May 2010 Belka was nominated as the next President of the National Bank of Poland by Acting President Bronisław Komorowski. On 10 June 2010, Marek Belka was approved by the Parliament as Head of National Bank of Poland.
Marek Belka is an Honorary Member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. In October 2013 he was elected into the Polish Economy Hall of Fame.