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Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Leszek Balcerowicz will be the speaker at the Wharton Graduate School commencement address on May 21 at the Civic Center. The 44-year old economist has been recognized by several experts as a key player in Poland's transition to a free-market economy. Students and administrators said they are excited about Balcerowicz' visit, adding that he is a proven leader in the reconstruction of Poland's economy. "[His visit] is especially exciting for me as part of a small group of Wharton MBAs who will be working in Poland over the next few years on Poland's privatization efforts," said Ann Kalin, a second-year Wharton graduate student who will begin work in Poland in September. "We are honored to have a leading international economic figure like Leszek Balcerowicz as our commencement speaker," Wharton Dean Thomas Gerrity said in a statement. "His vision and commitment to economic progress will serve as a memorable inspiration to our graduating MBA students." Wharton contacted Balcerowicz through Associate Finance Professor Bulent Gultekin, who currently serves as chief economic advisor to Poland's Ministry of Privatization. Gultekin is currently working overseas and could not be reached for comment yesterday. Balcerowicz graduated from the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw in 1970. He received his MBA from St. John's University in New York and his PhD in economics from SGPIS in 1975. He has been awarded numerous times for his work on international economic relations and the problems of economic systems. Balcerowicz was named Politician of the Year by Polish Television and Man of the Year by The Voice of Warsaw.

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