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The NES 25th Anniversary Conference
CENTER for the Study of Diversity and Social Interactions

Western-Russian Partnership

The New Economic School:

an outstanding example of Western-Russian partnership built for global benefit


The New Economic School is Russia’s first private graduate school of modern economics. NES was founded in 1992 with the help of the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (CEMI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, all with the approval of the Government of the Russian Federation. Since its establishment, NES has been located at CEMI in Moscow.

NES was founded in 1992 by Valery Makarov (Director of CEMI) and Professor Gur Ofer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel), with funding from George Soros. These three visionaries teamed up to carry out the dream of bringing modern economic thought to the CIS.  NES was initially led by the International Advisory Board, headed by Gur Ofer. The first International Advisory Board comprised internationally renowned economists such as Michael Bruno (Hebrew University), Zvi Griliches (Harvard University), Elhanan Helpman (Tel Aviv University), Andreu MasColell (University Pompeu Fabra), Victor Polterovich (CEMI), Roman Frydman (New York University), and Barry W. Ickes (Penn State). NES built its own library with book donations from the Bank of Israel. The library enjoyed regular acquisitions supported by Soros and Eurasia Foundations, and was further expanded by two bequests, one from Zvi Griliches and the other from Don Patinkin, for whom the library is named.

The goal of NES is to address the demand for modern economics education in Russia. Crucial this goal is a highly trained faculty that excels not only in teaching, but also in research.  In establishing this faculty, NES has enjoyed the collaboration of economists and educators from Western Europe, America, Australia, Israel, and Russia – the end result being the creation of a new and unprecedented social science in Russia, sustainably taught by permanent faculty from Russia and abroad. NES has achieved recognition both in Russia and internationally as a vanguard institution. Unrivaled students, devoted management, professors who publish in reviewed journals – these make NES a top research university.

In the formative years of NES, most economics courses was taught by visitors, among whom were famous economists such as

  • Don Patinkin; Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Michael Beenstock; Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Benjamin Bental; Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, University of Haifa
  • Barry W. Ickes; Pennsylvania State University
  • Zvi Griliches; Harvard University
  • Reuben Gronau; Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh; Michigan State University, the University of Texas at Austin
  • Jan Magnus; Tilburg University, London School of Economics
  • Motty Perry; Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Ben Eden; Vanderbilt University
  • Richard Ericson; Columbia University
  • Omer Moav; Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Gur Ofer; Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Russell Pittman; U.S. Department of Justice
  • Ben Polak; Yale University
  • Suzanne Scotchmer; UC Berkeley
  • Avner Shaked; Bonn University
  • Amos Witztum; London Guildhall University


The New Economic School’s evolution

 Since 1992, NES has undergone a series of successful transformations. But further successes lie in the future. Join the NES family by studying, working, or collaborating with NES!


1992               NES founded. Two-year full-time Master’s of Arts in Economics program begins. International Advisory Board,
                        led by Gur Ofer, begins to  operate.
1994               NES Alumni Association founded.
1995               NES research program “GET – Transforming Government under Transition” founded with support from the
                        Ford Foundation. NES research center established.
1996               American Friends of NES (AFNES) established in the U.S.
1998               NES Outreach Center founded with support from Soros Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, aiming to
                        promote modern economics in CIS.
2000               NES recruits students from Novosibirsk and Voronezh. First NES alumni return to Russia after earning
                        PhDs abroad, begin teaching and doing research at NES.
2001               NES recruits students from Almaty, Kazakhstan. NES Russian Advisory Board (RAB) created.
2002               NES celebrates 10th anniversary. President Vladimir Putin recognizes NES for 10 years of success.
2004               Sergei Guriev becomes first faculty member to earn tenure and promotion.
2005               NES launches long-term student loan program with Russian Standard Bank.
2006               MAE Program achieves state accreditation. NES receives first capital grant, from McArthur Foundation,
                        to start endowment.
2007               Masters in Finance (MiF) Program launched. NES Endowment Foundation and its Board of Trustees
                        established. NES Alumni and Friends established.
2009               U.S. President Barack Obama delivers Commencement Address at NES.
2010               NES Alumni Fundraising Campaign begins.
2011               NES-HSE Bachelor of Arts in Economics (BAE) program launched. NES joins with INSEAD and Sberbank
                         to launch large-scale executive education program “Sberbank 500”. Merrill Lynch Writing and
                        Communication Center established at NES.
2012               NES celebrates 20th anniversary. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev congratulates NES for 20 years of success.
2013               NES establishes International Office and student exchange programs. NES hosts first visiting students and
                        interns from top Western universities. 

NES Rectors:

Valery Makarov, 1992-2004

Sergei Guriev, 2004-2013

Stanislav Anatolyev, 2013

Simeon Djankov, 2013-2015

Shlomo Weber, 2015-present


In December 2012, NES celebrated its 20th anniversary. The three-day celebration consisted of a high-profile academic conference and gala reunion. Read more about the celebration here.

Read about the anniversary here. NES founder and professor Gur Ofer wrote a book about the New Economic School’s first 10 years, The Miracle of NES, available online.

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