When Dr. Boediono took over Indonesia’s Finance Ministry in August 2001, the country’s economy and financial system were still mired in the Asia crisis of 1997–98. He was about to single-handedly steer Indonesia onto a strong growth path.
Former college economics professor Boediono, who is on Wharton’s Executive Board for Asia, took control. Using the political skills gleaned in an earlier post as planning minister, he quickly secured a direct reporting line to President Megawati Sukarnoputri, then persuaded the International Monetary Fund to resume a debt program after a one-year hiatus. “It was very clear that the first priority must be instilling some sense of normality for the macroeconomy before we could do anything,” he said in a 2003 BusinessWeek Online article.
Boediono remained in office until 2004, earning a “glowing international and domestic reputation” for his extreme fiscal prudence and technocratic finesse. He returned to government just one year later under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Today, Boediono is Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and was recently described by The Jakarta Post as “one of Indonesia’s most highly respected economic policymakers,” adding “the return of Boediono’s steadying and unifying influence is something for which to be grateful.”