William Lee web
William Lee
Chief Economist
Asia, Banking, Capital Access, Capital Flows, Capital Markets, China, Emerging and Frontier Markets, Europe, Finance, Financial Innovations, Global Economy, Human Capital, Job Creation, Labor, Public Policy, Regulation, Systemic Risk, U.S. Economy


William (Bill) Lee is chief economist at the Milken Institute. He leads the Institute’s effort to develop collaborative policies to improve access to and the functioning of capital markets, strengthen financial stability and the soundness of financial institutions, and foster global macroeconomic, financial, and regulatory conditions to bolster job creation. Lee is also responsible for formulating and communicating action-oriented solutions to global policymakers, thought leaders, and market participants.

Prior to joining the Institute, he was managing director and head of North America economics for Citigroup, where his responsibilities included shaping insights about U.S. policy and economic prospects for global clients. Before joining Citi in 2011, Lee was deputy division chief at the International Monetary Fund, where, among other accomplishments, he established its Hong Kong office, improved financial market surveillance protocols, and was the IMF resident representative in Hong Kong from 2000 to 2003. Lee’s country work for the IMF included being mission chief for Singapore and senior desk economist and deputy division chief covering the United States and Germany. Most recently, Lee was deputy division chief responsible for analytical chapters of the IMF’s flagship publication on global financial stability, “The Global Financial Stability Report.” In addition, he researched and wrote about institutional asset allocation, credit derivatives, hedge funds, pension funds, and regulatory reforms to strengthen global financial stability. Before the IMF, Lee was senior economist and division chief of the financial markets division at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He began his career as an economist with the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.

Lee holds a B.Sc. in operations research and a Ph.D. in economics, both from Columbia University.

Related Publications
Screen Shot 2018 08 29 at 5.56.41 PM
Date: August 2018
Jakob Wilhelmus and William Lee 
View more publications