Bulgarian economist Simeon Djankov has taken on the rectorship of the New Economic School, bringing extensive international experience to a post left empty when Sergei Guriev emigrated in fear of prosecution earlier this year.
The graduate school's board of directors approved the appointment at a meeting Tuesday. "Simeon Djankov is a world-class economist with superlative scientific results and huge practical experience. We are delighted that a specialist of this standard will head the New Economic School," board chairman Maxim Boiko said in a statement.
Djankov is known for developing the World Bank's “Doing Business” report, a widely consulted yearly ranking of 185 countries based on the evaluation of their business regulations and their enforcement.
He worked in the World Bank from 1995 to 2009, rising to the rank of chief economist on questions of finance and development in the private sector.
In 2009, Djankov became finance minister and deputy prime minister of Bulgaria, where he led movements for pension, higher education, administrative and environmental reform.
After retiring from government in March, he joined the faculty of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Business.
Djankov replaces former rector Stanislav Anatolyev, who filled the position temporarily following the departure of Guriev in May.
Guriev resigned and emigrated to Paris after being summoned for questioning several times by the Investigative Committee regarding a report he co-authored in 2011, which found that jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky should not have been found guilty of theft and money laundering.
Guriev himself said the appointment was a positive step. "Not a single person living now in Russia can be compared with Djankov, not in academic achievements, nor in administrative experience. I am proud that the New Economic School was able to hire such a rector," he told Vedomosti.