SHIGEHARA Kumiharu has had a long career as both a central bank official and an international civil servant.
He served as Chief Economist and Director General of the Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies at the Bank of Japan between 1989 and 1992 before his appointment as Chief Economist and Head of the Economics Department at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris for five years from May 1992. He later served as Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, overseeing multidisciplinary activities on a broad range of economic and social policy issues in member countries and its co-operative relationships with non-member economies.
Shigehara started his professional career at the Bank of Japan in 1962 after having received his degree from the University of Tokyo where he was honored with the Hozumi Scholarship, a special award for the most promising student of the Law Faculty.
His first service at the OECD commenced as Economist in 1970. He was promoted to Senior Economist in 1971 and appointed Head of the Monetary Studies Division in 1972. Upon completion of a series of OECD studies on monetary policies of major member countries in late 1974, he returned to the Bank of Japan where he assumed various responsibilities in both domestic and international areas of central bank activities including the Bank's representative at the Basle Committee on bank regulations and supervision and Advisor on international financial matters as well as Counselor on domestic monetary policy planning.
Between 1980 and 1982, Shigehara served at the OECD for the second time, as Deputy Director of the Policy Studies Branch of Economics Department and contributed to international economic policy co-ordination. He then returned to the Bank of Japan where he held several key posts for bank supervision as well as economic research before his third service at the OECD as Director of the Policy Studies Branch, which started in 1987. He returned to the Bank of Japan to serve as its Chief Economist in 1989 and left the Bank for commencing his forth and last service at the OECD as Chief Economist in 1992.
Shigehara is currently Head of the International Economic Policy Studies Group and devotes himself to delivering lectures and speeches at seminars and conferences in Japan and abroad as well as contributing papers and articles on domestic and international economic and monetary policy issues to Japanese and foreign periodicals.
Shigehara was honored with the degree of Doctor honoris causa by the University of Liége under the patronage of the King of Belgium in 1998, in recognition of his contributions to international economic policy co-operation for the past three decades as an international civil servant and a central banker.
Shigehara's mother tongue is Japanese and he has an excellent command of English and French. He is married and has a son and a daughter.