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Two international achievement awards to be presented Feb. 10

Melissa Mitchell, arts writer; 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A world leader and a leading expert on Latin America economics are the recipients of international achievement awards presented by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Atef Ebeid, the prime minister of Egypt, received the 2002 Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement during a ceremony held in January in Cairo.

The 2002 Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement will be presented to Werner Baer, the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor of Economics at Illinois, during a banquet at the Urbana campus on Feb. 10.

Both awards are sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost, University of Illinois Alumni Association and International Programs and Studies. This is the second year of the awards program.

Ebeid (pronounced ah-BADE), who is credited with leading Egypt’s efforts to shift to a more market-based economy, received his doctorate in business administration from Illinois in 1962. After graduating from Illinois, Ebeid returned to Egypt, where he joined the faculty of Cairo University’s department of management and worked as a management consultant to various ministries within the Egyptian government. In 1973, he formed the International Management Center, a consulting firm that helped restructure failing construction firms. He was president of that company until he entered government service in 1984. He served as state minister for administrative development from 1984-1993, and minister of private enterprises from 1993-1999. He was appointed prime minister by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 1999.

As prime minister, Ebeid has continued his efforts to liberalize the economy, increase economic growth, foster trade links with the European Union and the United States, streamline government and initiate social reforms.

"Dr. Ebeid is well known in the Middle East for his intellect, business acumen and managerial skill, as well as for his honesty and integrity," said Earl Kellogg, associate provost for international affairs at Illinois. Kellogg was part of a delegation from the university that traveled to Cairo to present the award to the prime minister.

Although Ebeid’s career is marked by many accomplishments, Kellogg said he told the visitors that he recalled his time at Illinois as "the five best and most productive years of my life."

"Dr. Ebeid told me he owes much of his career to the education he received at Illinois," Kellogg said. "He also mentioned a management professor at Illinois who mentored him and taught him many things about how to manage. He genuinely loves the University of Illinois."

Baer, who taught at Harvard, Yale and Vanderbilt universities before coming to Illinois in 1974, is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in the economic development problems that have plagued a number of South American nations, most notably, Brazil.

The professor, who received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Queens College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard, has written and edited numerous books and scholarly articles on economic conditions in Latin America. His reputation as a leading scholar of economic development was forged with the publication of his book "Industrialization and Economic Development in Brazil." Another book, "The Brazilian Economy: Growth and Development," is now in its fifth edition, and is one of the most widely used books on economics of a Latin American country.

Baer has made major contributions to the study of import substitution industrialization, the Latin American inflationary process and various stabilization programs, the role of state in economic development, and the impact of privatization.

Baer also is known as a dedicated teacher and mentor, and his efforts to recruit outstanding Latin American students to Illinois have yielded graduates who now teach in some of the region’s most prestigious universities and work in key positions for the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. He also co-founded the economics department’s master of science program in policy economics, designed for young policy-makers from developing countries.

Baer has received a number of awards for his contributions to research on the Brazilian economy and to its academic institutions, including honorary doctorates from universities in Brazil and Portugal. He also is the recipient of the Southern Cross Medal, the highest honor conferred by the Brazilian government to a non-Brazilian, and the Rio Branco Medal, awarded by Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.