Economist Minouche Shafik to step down as LSE director

Economist Minouche Shafik is set to leave her post as director of the London School of Economics.

She will step down this summer to become president of Columbia University in New York City.

Shafik has led LSE for six years, and before this was deputy governor of the Bank of England. Previously she has held teaching appointments at Georgetown University and the Wharton Business School, and is on the board of trustees of the Gates Foundation.

Other previous appointments include as Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development in the U.K. and as Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

Chair of the university’s council Susan Liautaud announced Shafik’s departure in a note to alumni, and thanked the outgoing president for her service.

She said: “On behalf of the School, we congratulate Minouche on this appointment and thank her for her unwavering commitment and leadership over the past six years of service.”

Liautaud added: “Under Minouche’s leadership, together with senior leaders from across the School community, LSE has achieved considerable success: enhancing the student experience and teaching, delivering research excellence and strengthening our place on the global stage.”

Commenting on her appointment, Chair of Columbia University’s Board of Trustees Jonathan Lavine said: “What set Minouche apart as a candidate … is her unshakable confidence in the vital role institutions of higher education can and must play in solving the world’s most complex problems.”

He added: “Like all of us in the Columbia community, she believes that in order to bring about meaningful change, we have a collective obligation to combine our distinctive intellectual capacities with groups and organizations beyond the academy.”

LSE has instructed a specialist search firm and appointed a committee to recruit a new president and vice chancellor for the institution.