Joint Vienna Institute: Patrick Imam Succeeds Holger Flörkemeier

More+Work & Careers ♦ Published: September 28, 2021; 17:00 ♦ (Vindobona)

Patrick Imam joined the JVI - Joint Vienna Institute as Deputy Director. Having joined the International Monetary Fund (a party to the Agreement for the Establishment of the JVI) in 2005, he has held positions in the Middle East and Central Asia as well as the African Department (Zimbabwe and Madagascar), the IMF Institute and the Monetary and Capital Markets division. His predecessor Holger Flörkemeier was the JVI Deputy Director for the last four years. On the occasion of his departure, the JVI interviewed him and asked him to share his experience and views on the JVI.

Patrick Imam, the new Deputy Director at the JVI - Joint Vienna Institute. / Picture: © JVI - Joint Vienna Institute

According to a statement by the JVI Joint Vienna Institute, Patrick Imam joined the JVI as Deputy Director in August 2021.

Previously, the Incoming Deputy Director was the IMF Resident Representative in Zimbabwe (2018-2021) and Madagascar (2014-2018), where he was closely involved in the design and implementation of IMF financial and technical support. 

Having joined the International Monetary Fund in 2005, he has held positions in the Middle East and Central Asia as well as the African Department, the IMF Institute and the Monetary and Capital Markets division, working on IMF-supported and surveillance relations, including on Transition Economies.

He also delivered Technical Assistance, Training and Financial Sector Assessment Programs across a range of emerging and developing countries.

Before joining the IMF, he was an investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston in London. He has a doctorate in economics from Cambridge University and was also educated at the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford.

Holger Flörkemeier, Departing Deputy Director of the JVI, was interviewed by the JVI about his experience and views on the JVI and Vienna, on challenges and achievements, and on his role in the adaptations to the new virtual teaching and learning environment.

Here is what he replied according to the JVI:

"Can you please give an overview of your role and responsibilities as Deputy Director at the JVI?

As Deputy Director, I led the economist faculty and IT department. In these areas, I was responsible for coordinating program development and analytical work, collaborating with partner organizations, managing a technical assistance project, conducting outreach, talent acquisition and management, and managing financial resources. I was also actively involved in teaching various JVI courses, which has been a very rewarding experience.

What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome during your time here?

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic stands out among the challenges we have faced in the past four years. JVI training was disrupted for three months, and we had to completely change the model how JVI delivers training during the crisis. Substantial program and operational adjustments were needed for a swift resumption of training delivery in a virtual format. This included the implementation of the necessary network and VTC infrastructure; the conversion and redesign of JVI’s courses to virtual format; the adoption of new training technology solutions and innovative training methodologies; program coordination with JVI partner organizations; and country outreach to disseminate information about the new training program and modalities. Currently we are preparing for a gradual return to classroom training, which also involves developing hybrid training options that will combine face-to-face and virtual elements.

How has the curriculum at the JVI evolved over the four years?

JVI has become a much busier place since I arrived in 2017, and both the number and variety of training courses offered has greatly increased—and this despite the constraints due to the pandemic. JVI economists have developed several new courses in collaboration with our various partner organizations, and the number of these so-called collaborative courses grew from five in 2017 to thirteen in 2021. This includes this year’s new course offerings on Climate Change Economics and Policy Support to the Private Sector (the latter specifically dealing with public policy responses to manage the economic fallout of the pandemic); last year’s newly introduced courses on The Future of Tax and The Future of Work; and several courses in the monetary and financial stability areas (Monetary Policy Communication, Nonperforming Loans, Fintech and Financial Stability, Real Estate Analysis, Risk-focused Bank Supervision and Risk Assessment). In addition, JVI has added a very rich program of 50+ webinars since last year, including on policy responses to the pandemic, climate change economics, and other topical policy issues. In short, the JVI faculty has been extraordinarily innovative and dedicated in developing the curriculum, and the entire JVI team has done a great and joint effort in implementing this ambitious program."

About the JVI - Joint Vienna Institute

The Joint Vienna Institute (JVI) is a regional training centre, primarily for public sector officials from countries in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was established in 1992 by the Austrian Authorities (represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Österreichische Nationalbank), the International Monetary Fund, and several other international organizations.

The JVI mainly offers one to two-week courses, seminars and workshops that focus on macroeconomic policy formulation and management; monetary policy and the exchange rate system; financial sector stability; debt sustainability and management; tax policy and revenue administration; expenditure management; fiscal institutions and governance; legislative frameworks; macroeconomic and financial statistics; and many more specialized topics.

The JVI is supported by six international organizations and the Austrian Authorities. Each of these entities is a party to the Agreement for the Establishment of the JVI, as amended on May 1, 2003, either as a Primary Member or as a Contributing Member. Primary Members assume equal proportionate financial responsibility for the operating costs of the JVI on an annual basis and appoint two members to the Board and two alternate members. Contributing Members participate in the JVI but do not assume financial responsibility beyond the operating cost of their proportionate use of the JVI facility. Each Contributing Member appoints one member to the Board and an alternate member.

JVI - Joint Vienna Institute