Antonio de Lecea serves as an Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the Basque Country University (UPV) in Bilbao, Spain.
Antonio de Lecea is a senior manager, diplomat and academic with over thirty-years career in European Union’s policy-making and international economic and financial relations, based in Europe, the US, and recently in Asia. His experience includes coordinating European positions to shape the international response to the global financial crisis and the reform of global financial institutions, and economic public diplomacy in the US during the European sovereign debt crisis. He also advanced macroeconomic relations between Europe, the US, and other EU’s strategic partner countries.
Dr. de Lecea retired in May 2018 from a distinguished career at the European Commission, having served most recently as Principal Advisor to the Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs and Acting Director for Investment, Growth and Structural Reforms,. In these positions, he focused on economic growth, investment, and economic and financial integration, as well as international economic affairs.
Between 2009 and 2015, Dr. de Lecea lived in Washington D.C., where he served at the Delegation of the European Union as Minister for economic and financial affairs and principal advisor to the Head of the Delegation. He led diplomatic economic relations with US authorities, as well as with US-based financial institutions and international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank.
Until this assignment, Dr. de Lecea had since 2004 been Director for International Affairs in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs. In that position, he steered the analysis and policy advice supporting the Commission’s positions on the international economic issues. He also furthered EU bilateral economic relations with non-EU countries as well as EU participation in key multilateral and regional economic institutions and fora (IMF, World Bank, G7-G8-G20, OECD) where he acted as the European Commission President’s Financial Sous-Sherpa.
From 1999 to 2004, Prof. de Lecea was Economic Advisor in the Private Office of Romano Prodi, then European Commission President, steering key EU reforms and initiatives. He joined the European Commission in 1986, holding management positions in the EU budget and control areas, as well as in economics and finance. Before moving to the European Commission, he was a member of the Private Office of the Spanish Secretary of State for Finance in Madrid.
Dr. de Lecea was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy between 2016 and 2017, where he focused on East-West economic integration and governance. He lectured and conducted research on globalization, growth-enhancing structural reforms and financial regulatory convergence.
Dr. de Lecea obtained a Ph.D. in 1983 from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), in the European Doctoral Programme for Quantitative Economics, and a first degree in Economics from the Barcelona Autonomous University (UAB). He has been a guest lecturer at leading universities in the US and Asia. He has published widely in the areas of public finance and the European economy, and is a contributor to policy outlets such as VoxEU, and Regulation Asia.