On Sunday, September 20th, Dr. Oleh Havrylyshyn, a scholar of economic transition and a patriot son of Ukrainian heritage, passed away in his sleep at his Ottawa home. Oleh was born during the war in Germany as his parents were escaping from the Soviet army which was occupying Galicia. The family migrated first to Brazil and then to Canada. Oleh grew up in Toronto and attended Humberside Collegiate. He obtained a B.A. Honours Economics degree from Queen’s University in 1966 and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972.
Over his long career, he held Professorial positions at Queen’s University, George Washington University, and Visiting positions at Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Geneva Institute of International Economics and the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. He taught courses in many other Universities and institutions including Kiel Institute of World Economy, Royal Military College of Canada, US National Défense College, US Institute of Foreign Affairs, Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, The World Bank, and The Asian Development Bank. From 1992 to 1996 he served, first as Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Finance for International Affairs and then as Ukraine’s Alternate Executive Director at the IMF Board of Directors. In 1996 he was appointed Deputy Director of the EUR II Department of the IMF, responsible for activities in the Former Soviet Countries.
After retirement from the IMF in 2007 he taught courses on the Economy of Ukraine, Economics of Transition and EU Enlargement, at Queen’s University, George Washington University and University of Toronto. He also continued to do research and writing, publishing several books and many articles on the issues of post-communist transition and institutions. At the end of his life, he held the positions of Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University, a Senior Fellow at CASE Research Institute in Warsaw, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Annual Dubrovnik Economic Conference.
Over his career he wrote extensively on national accounting, international economics, development problems, and since 1988 on post-communist transition. In addition, he held numerous advisory/consultant positions with government agencies around the world including the World Bank, UNDP, Governments of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Tunisia, Morocco, Colombia and others. From 2014 to 2016 he was a member of an Advisory Group to the Ministry of the Economy and Development of Ukraine. His final book, “PRESENT AT THE TRANSITION: An inside look at the role of history, politics and personalities” was published by Cambridge University Press shortly before his death.
With considerable travel and extensive exposure in dozens of countries around the world, he was fluent in Ukrainian, English, French, Croatian and Serbian, and had a working knowledge in Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish and other Slavic languages.
He is survived by his wife Natalia and his son Yarema, stepson Constantin and grandchildren Jaroslaw, Augusta and Adelina.