NURTURING RESILIENCE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC
THIRD CONFERENCE OF ROMANIAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONALS
Opening Plenary Session: June 4th 2021
The second featured speaker of the conference was Mr. Liviu Voinea, Romania's representative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He is a central figure in establishing a community of Romanian economists working at the IMF and World Bank, a group of about fifty members, the “Romanian Economic Club” (REC) formally registered with the IMF. With regards to the pandemic crises, the IMF responded fast and forcefully in over one hundred countries with rapid disbursement procedures to ensure macroeconomic stability. The IMF was at the forefront of these coordinated fiscal policy actions throughout the world, and this came with some stresses, including re-imagining work procedures and instruments. Adjustments both at an institutional and personal level was a showcase in proving resilience, even improved efficiency in performance. The REC succeeded to continue to meet and be of support to each other in maintaining family-work life balance. Mr. Voinea found the time to publish a book this year and found himself more involved as a father amidst these changes. Fading boundaries between professional and personal lives became a norm. Moving forward he believes that workforce location may cease to be a strict given, allowing factors such as long-term productivity, personal well-being, and retention of skilled personnel to ascend. He sees the pandemic shock as an opportunity to focus on a “greener” inclusive recovery and from the very start of the pandemic effort the focus was renewed on good governance and anti-corruption efforts, especially during this unprecedented flow of funds. Mr. Voinea believes that the members of the REC will be involved in studying the temporary nature of the inflation surge, the normalization of fiscal and monetary policy. All these increased pressures on Romanian professionals he hopes will lead to a consolidation of the REC and closer ties with the Romanian academic community in the US. The National Bank of Romania is supporting seasonal meetings for this group of economists and as the pandemic recedes this group is set to consolidate its presence and role.