On April 15, a group of Fulbright alumni and current grantees from the Belgium, Luxembourg and Schuman Program joined us for a lunch hosted by the Governor of the National Bank of Belgium and Fulbright alumnus, Mr. Pierre Wunsch. The lunch took place at the Governor’s hotel on Rue Bois Sauvage, an impressive building in the heart of Brussels.

Pierre Wunsch is the 23rd Governor in the history of Belgium’s central bank and holds a Ph.D. in Economics (UCL) and completed a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs at Princeton University on a Fulbright grant in 1990-1991. His Fulbright experience at Princeton University has given him a unique opportunity to learn more about the United States and the American people. In January 2019, Pierre Wunsch took over the leading role of Governor of the National Bank of Belgium from Jan Smets who now holds the title of Honorary Governor and left the National Bank after a career spanning 45 years.

Mr. Wunsch explained his role as Governor and provided us with his vision on creating a strong, sustainable and inclusive economy. He argued that even though economic growth has been substantial in the past years, the Belgian economy is currently facing an ever-greater number of challenges, such as an aging population, technology and digitalization, climate change and limited productivity gains. As he suggested: “In order to create a coherent framework, we need proper coordination between the various different areas of economic planning and between the different levels of government”.

We are very grateful to Mr. Wunsch for inviting us to his residence in Brussels and for the exquisite lunch.

About the series

The Fulbright Eat&Meet lunches provide recently-returned alumni of the Fulbright Program the opportunity to learn from and network with experts in a variety of different professional areas. Events are held regularly throughout the year and previous hosts include politicians, industry leaders, and academics. Are you interested in hosting Fulbright alumni for a Fulbright Eat&Meet, or do you have a guest speaker in mind? Email secretary@fulbright.be.