He may be the only central bank governor in the world to have a Facebook fan page. Umayya Toukan, PhD ‘87, central bank governor of Jordan, earned the pop-culture honor: In 2009, he was recognized by The Banker magazine as “Central Bank Governor of the Year” for the Middle East.
Toukan's visionary leadership — influenced by his dissertation on monetary-policy independence under mentor and professor Frederic Mishkin — has helped Jordan weather the recent financial crisis. More broadly, as the Middle East remains in flux around oil-related economic activity, Toukan has guided his country’s monetary policy to meet such new challenges as the constant rise of asset prices and a sharp increase in liquidity and deposits in the region.
“The framework for the conduct of our monetary policy in Jordan has enabled us to meet those challenges and maintain price stability during boom years and throughout the financial crisis,” he says. “It is consistent with the macro-prudential approach, which is gaining momentum and support in the aftermath of the crisis.”
Toukan has served Jordan in multiple posts, including economic adviser to the prime minister and CEO of the stock exchange. He also served as the country’s ambassador to several European Union countries before being appointed governor in 2001. Toukan was appointed to a second five-year term in 2006.