William English to Teach in the Fall

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016
William English, photo: Getty Images

This upcoming academic year, students will have the opportunity to take a class with William B. English, Senior Special Advisor for Monetary Policy at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Mr. English will be a visiting faculty member in the Department of Economics and will teach two classes closely related to his work at the Federal Reserve: Monetary Economics in the fall and Central Banking in the spring.

The idea is to teach the students the background they need to grapple with some of the difficult, but very interesting, policy questions that have come out of the financial crisis and the subsequent recession,” English said.

No stranger to the university, Mr. English received his B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Yale in 1982, and had Economics Professor and Nobel Laureate James Tobin as his thesis advisor.  During his senior year, Mr. English also took Mathematical Economics taught by John Geanakoplos (the first class Geanakoplos taught after graduating from Harvard and returning to Yale as an assistant professor). 

When asked about advice for undergraduates pursuing a degree in Economics, Mr. English said, “Take classes on a broad range of topics in economics.  It’s a big field, and you can’t know what you find most interesting until you have tried it.  Along the same lines, write an honors thesis, so that you get some exposure to research in Economics and see if you like it.”

Mr. English has served at the Board of Governor of the Federal Reserve System for over 20 years, and has held a range of positions, including, Director of the Division of Monetary Affairs and Secretary to the Federal Open Market Committee from 2010 to 2015.  In that position, Mr. English oversaw the development of monetary policy, working extensively on issues related to asset purchases, policy normalization, and policy communication. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago. Mr. English received a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. 

Mr. English visited Yale this last February to present on the Federal Reserve’s unconventional monetary policies.