Chairman , National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
George Mergos is a founding member of MED-SEC and a Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Athens. He studied Economics at the University of Athens and he has his M.Sc. from Oxford University, UK and his Ph.D. from Stanford University, USA in Applied Economics.
He has a long teaching and research record in development economics and public policy. He started his international development work as a research assistant at Stanford University in 1980 working on an economic-demographic model using a very large household survey from Mindanao, the Philippines. He joined the World Bank as a Researcher-Economist in the South Asia Projects Department working on India (1983-1986). He moved to Greece joining the Department of Economics, University of Athens, in 1986, involved in teaching and research in the Division of Development and international economics. He has an extensive research and publication record. He is author or co-author of a large number of articles in international scientific journals, such as: Sustainable Development, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Economic Letters, Food Policy, Energy Economics, Economics of Planning, Journal of Agricultural Economics, European Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Economics, Journal of Forecasting, Applied Economics, Pakistan Development Review, Water Resources Management, European Water, Option Mediterranneenes, etc. He is also author or co-author of several books published by Greek and international publishers. In parallel, he consulted extensively in Greece (IOBE) and abroad with various international organizations (The World Bank, FAO, OECD) and the European Commission (DG External Relations) as a Team Leader or Expert of international missions on development assistance in many developing countries (many missions to China, India and other countries 1986-1990) and transition countries (all countries of former Eastern Europe and several countries of the former Soviet Union) (1990-2000).
In 2000 he became a member of the scientific Committee of the “Institute for Democracy, Constantine Karamanlis”, a political think tank, teaching at the Political Academy of the Institute and responsible for economic policy. Then, in 2004, taking a leave of absence from the University, he entered the public service taking office as Secretary General of the Ministry of Economy (2004-2007). Subsequently he was appointed Governor of the Foundation of Social Security (IKA), the largest Social Security Organization in Greece (2007-09). During this period he served, also, as member of the Board of Governors for Greece of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, and alternate Governor of EIB and EBRD (2004-2007). He was also non-executive Board member of SOEs, such as Public Power Corporation (2005-2009) and National Bank of Greece (2007-09). He returned to the University in 2009 and he wrote a book on Economic Reforms in Greece, published by the Academy of Athens. At the same time he was a member of the Management Board of the Pension Reserve Fund of the Council of Europe (2009-12) and in the private sector a non-executive Board member of Alpha Bank (2009-10), GEK TERNA (2010-12) and EPILEKTOS TEXTILES (2009-12). He returned to public service as Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance (2012-13) having a key role in the strong effort for economic reform, at a period of crisis, for keeping Greece in the Euro.
In mid-2013, he left public service and returned to the University continuing teaching and research in development and international economics focusing his work on two major contemporary issues: food security and sustainability. He started with colleagues from the UK and other countries, a new initiative, the MED-SEC, the Mediterranean Center for Food Security and Sustainable Growth, a research and policy network of development researchers focusing on food security and sustainability. He now devotes most of his effort in MEDSEC.