Until his retirement from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) a year ago, Val Koromzay served for 14 years as the director for country studies in the OECDís economics department. Heading up a team made up of six divisions and some 45 PhD-level economists, his main work was to oversee the preparation of biennial economic surveys for each of the 30 OECD member countries and also major developing countries including China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa. These economic surveys sought to identify key challenges facing each country across a broad range of macroeconomic and structural policy areas, and develop strategies for meeting these challenges. Issues treated in depth across a number of countries include: health-care reform; education and training policies; labor-market regulation; competition and regulatory policies for network industries; tax and budget policies; resource management and environmental policies; monetary policy; financial regulation; and relations among different levels of government.
In preparing these surveys, Koromzay headed up teams of country specialists that visited each country, holding extensive consultations with senior government officials and ministers, as well as with private sector think-tanks, business leaders, and trade union representatives. Through this experience, he acquired a unique perspective on how economic policy challenges common to most countries are nonetheless differently defined in each country by the prevailing social and political context.
Before becoming director for country studies, Koromzay worked on a variety of other issues at OECD-most notably on developing transition strategies for the countries of central Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Previously, he served as senior international economist at the Presidentís Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C.; economist for international finance at the Federal Reserve; and instructor at Dartmouth College. He did both his undergraduate and graduate work at Yale University. Since his retirement from OECD, Koromzay has been a freelance economic consultant to governments including those of Korea, Norway, and New Zealand.