Leszek Balcerowicz is a Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), a former Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance as well as a former Chairman of the National Bank of Poland (NBP). He is best known for playing a leading role in Poland's economic transformation in the aftermath of the Fall of Communism. Professor Balcerowicz has received numerous honours and awards from universities and institutions all over the world.
In September 1989, Leszek Balcerowicz became the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance of the first non-communist government behind the Iron Curtain. He prepared and oversaw the programme of economic reform, commonly known as the 'shock therapy', that was to counter hyperinflation and radically restructure Poland's crisis-struck economy. The Balcerowicz Plan allowed Poland to move away from inefficient communist central planning and become a successful free-market state. In 2005, Professor Balcerowicz was awarded Poland's highest Honour, the Order of the White Eagle, for his role in the country's economic transformation.
Professor Balcerowicz has remained a very active figure in the economic and political life of Poland. He became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance once again in 1997 and held these positions until 2000. From 2001 to 2007, he served as the Chairman of the National Bank of Poland.