The University of Winnipeg



Global monetary law expert to receive Distinguished Alumni award

Ross Leckow

Ross Leckow will receive the Distinguished Alumni award at UWinnipeg’s 2019 autumn convocation.

Ross Leckow, a leading expert on international monetary and financial law will receive the Distinguished Alumni award at The University of Winnipeg’s autumn convocation on Friday, October 18.

Leckow graduated from The University of Winnipeg in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree, earning the Gold Medal in History and Silver Medal in Arts. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Laws degree from York University.

After practicing law in the Canadian private and public sectors, Leckow joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC in 1990. The IMF is an international organization with 189 member countries that promotes international monetary cooperation, global financial stability, and sustainable economic growth throughout the world.

As Deputy General Counsel, Leckow helped strengthen the legal framework through which the IMF monitors developments in the global economy, promotes the implementation of sound economic policies by governments, and provides emergency financial assistance to countries experiencing economic crises. He also led the IMF’s substantial program of technical assistance to governments seeking to modernize their legal frameworks to ensure that banks are properly regulated and that national authorities can respond effectively to the potential failure of large financial institutions.  

A key focus of Leckow’s work in recent years has been the development of regulatory frameworks governing the application of new technologies, such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain, in the financial sector. Leckow played a leading role in advancing the IMF’s “Fintech” agenda of research and policy, training seminars, and technical advice to IMF member countries.

“Whether tapping your credit card to pay for a coffee or doing your banking online, using financial technology is taken for granted by most people. However, we are able to do so with confidence thanks to the expertise and efforts of those who oversee global financial matters, as Ross Leckow does. His impact is felt broadly and in our day-to-day activities. We are proud to recognize him with our Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Ruth Dickinson, president of UWinnipeg’s Alumni Association.

In July 2019, Leckow left the IMF to accept a new position as Senior Advisor Fintech – Strategy and Legal with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland. The BIS is an international organization with 60 member central banks that fosters international monetary and financial cooperation. He will provide strategic and legal advice to the new BIS Innovation Hub that will develop public goods in the technology space to improve the functioning of the global financial system, and serve as a focal point for a network of central banks on innovation. 

Leckow lectures around the world on international monetary and financial law, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications on these topics.

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