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Convocation date: May 21, 1997
Discipline / contribution: banking and finance ; economics ; public policy
Citation / biographical information:
Born in South Porcupine, Ontario, in 1938, Gordon Thiessen grew up in a number of different towns in Saskatchewan. After graduating from high school in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, he worked for a charted bank in that province.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. Thiessen studied economics at the University of Saskatchewan and received an Bachelor of Arts in 1959, Honours in Economics in 1960 and a Master of Arts in 1962. He then lectured in economics at the University. From 1965 to 1967 he attended the London School of Economics, from which he received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1972.
Dr. Thiessen joined the Bank of Canada in 1963 and worked in both the Research and the Monetary and Financial Analysis Departments of the Bank. He spent the period from 1973 to 1975 as a visiting economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia.
At the Bank of Canada, Dr. Thiessen was successively appointed Adviser to the Governor in 1979, Deputy Governor responsible for economic research and financial analysis in 1984, and Senior Deputy Governor in 1987. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank and of its Executive Committee since his appointment as Senior Deputy Governor.
Dr. Thiessen was appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada on February 1, 1994, for a term of seven years. As Governor, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank. On September 29, 1996, the Minister of Finance of Canada said, The Canadian government is committed to the implementation of sound macroeconomic and structural policies aimed at creating an economic environment in which the private sector can prosper and create high quality jobs. Only in such an environment can we afford the quality social programs that we are equally committed to maintain.’ Dr. Thiessen has been instrumental in achieving the objectives identified. His intimate knowledge of the structure of the Canadian financial system has contributed to its evolution as one of the safest and soundest in the world.
Dr. Thiessen has also enhanced the Bank’s accountability to the Canadian public. His colleagues describe him as a manager who has a distinctive human touch and a good sense of humour, and as a person with natural strength as a communicator.
Degree presented by: V. Lynne Pearson, Dean of Commerce
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