News & Events
It is always a cause for celebration whenever a member of the ISET community – be they student or faculty – achieves new success, but this month has borne witness to some unprecedented good news. Professor Daniel Levy, who has visited ISET as a visiting professor every year since 2011 and is one of the institute's most loyal friends, has been elected as the 26th President of the Israeli Economics Association. It is only regrettable that Daniel is not able to visit ISET this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the community is unable to congratulate him in person. It is a testament to Daniel's tireless work ethic that he is taking on his new responsibilities since he is retaining his positions as the William Gittes Chair in Economics at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, as well as his Visiting Professorships at ISET and Atlanta's Emory University, and his Senior Research Fellowship at the Rimini Center for Economic Analysis.
On September 11, ISET Policy Institute's Agriculture and Rural Policy Research Center (APRC) presented the main results of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the High Mountainous Region Designation of Energy Development and Access to the project's stakeholders. This was done as part of a workshop organized by the USAID Energy Program, which was attended by representatives of the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development, USAID's Energy Program, the private sector, and a number of NGOs. The workshop was facilitated by Daniel Potash, Chief of Party of the USAID Energy Program. The main objective of the workshop was to share the results of the assessment and receive feedback from the stakeholders. The study examined the current situation regarding energy access in Georgia's mountainous regions and explored the potential for adopting various alternative energy sources. It also assessed the costs and benefits of adopting technologies for respective alternative energy sources and provided recommendations for designing targeted interventions to ensure access to energy in alpine regions.
ISET is very proud of the fact that every single one of its students has walked into meaningful employment after graduation, but it is both pleasing and special when ISET graduates are hired to work for the institute itself. Their contributions and efforts help inspire the next generations, as well as continue to drive the ISET Policy Institute's research. From September, the Policy Institute will be employing a further three ISETers, all of whom graduated as part of the Class of 2020. Among these is valedictorian Guram Lobzhanidze, who will now work as a Junior Researcher for the Energy and Environment Policy Research Center (EEPRC). Guram has a particularly diverse educational background, having attended university in both Georgia and China, and studied International Relations, Economics, and the Chinese language. Before beginning his role for Policy Institute, Guram taught first-year Master's degree students in both microeconomics and econometrics.
ISET is proud to welcome Mr. Luc Leruth, a professional of considerable academic experience who has worked for many years in financial institutions, to the ISET Policy Institute as one of its Lead Economists. A native of Belgium, Mr. Leruth previously worked as the Director of a number of the IMF's Technical Assistance Centres in Africa and the Pacific region. He has also enjoyed a career in academia, having spent time at the Indian Statistical Institute in Delhi, and the universities of Liege, Brussels, and Essex, with his work being published in a number of scientific journals. Mr. Leruth first visited Georgia in 2019, and during his time in the country was invited by ISET to give a presentation to the community, which led to his interest in both the institute and the country. As well as bringing his considerable experience in academia and the financial streak, Mr. Leruth has a considerable creative flair, having published a number of novels: he hopes his time in Georgia will inspire him for another.
On July 31 to August 2, the APRC attended a workshop on Agritourism Development, an event organized by the Agrarian Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and UN Women. The APRC has been commissioned to conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the Draft Law on Agritourism. The workshop was attended by representatives of Parliament, the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development, and the National Tourism Agency, as well as elements of the private sector and a number of NGOs. The main objective of the workshop was to discuss the Draft Law on Agritourism. The representative of the Agrarian Committee of the Parliament of Georgia presented and went through the Draft Law in detail, after which the workshop participants provided their feedback and suggestions regarding the document. The discussion was followed by a presentation from the APRC, the component being RIA concepts and a detailed description of the eight-step methodology employed in RIA. Furthermore, the APRC team highlighted that RIA will also focus on gender analysis.
ISET is renowned for its strong community spirit, which is perhaps best demonstrated by the activities of its Alumni Association, a non-commercial legal entity established in 2016. As well as organising activities and events for members of the ISET family, the Alumni Association is also a useful network for later personal and professional development. As a non-profit group, the Association is purely donation-based, with the top contributors in 2020 being former ISETers Salome Baslandze, Robizon Khubulashvili, Nino Doghonadze, Giorgi Papava, and Lasha Labadze. The Alumni Association also distributes study stipends and recently launched a new one for 'the best improver', an award given to those BA students who have the most improved GPA scores between semesters. For the fall semester of the 2018-2019 academic year, it was awarded to one student; for the spring semester to two students; and for the fall semester of 2019-2020 to two students. Usually, students with the lowest GPA have higher chances, and the stipends encourage them to increase their motivation to continue and improve in their studies.