Pope appoints Fil-Am economist to Vatican financial watchdog agency

Published May 28, 2022, 12:47 PM

by Jel Santos

Pope Francis has appointed a Filipino-American economist to the Holy See’s financial intelligence and anti-money laundering unit, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

(Photo courtesy of CBCP News)

Following his appointment last May 9, Dr. Roberto Mariano will serve as board member of the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority (ASIF).

Vatican News, as quoted by CBCP, said Mariano is “renowned for many of the econometric models he has helped create that are used today as planning and forecasting tools.”

Carmelo Barbagallo, ASIF president, said Mariano’s expertise will be of great service to the financial watchdog agency.

In addition, he said Mariano as an economist “will be able to contribute his experience and professionalism for an outstanding fulfilment of the tasks” assigned to ASIF.

Per CBCP, Mariano was born in Rizal in 1944. He arrived in the US in the 1960s and became naturalized citizen in 1980.

He is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been with the faculty since 1971, at one point serving as undergraduate chair in the Department of Economics.

As such, Mariano is professor emeritus at Singapore Management University where he served as founding Dean of the School of Economics and Vice Provost for Research from 2002 to 2010.

Mariano, who is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, also served in editorial boards of international journals in economics and statistics and he has published extensively on econometric methodology in top-tier international journals.

The economist has also been a consultant to multinational institutions, central banks, government agencies, and private companies in Asia and the US, with a focus on econometric methodology and applications.