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Colombia's central bank appoints Juan José Echavarría as new head

The board of Colombia's central bank, Banco de la República, has appointed Colombian economist Juan José Echavarría Soto to replace José Darío Uribe Escobar as head of the bank from Jan. 4, 2017, the bank said in a press release Dec. 12.

Uribe Escobar has served as head of the central bank since 2005. His successor, Echavarría Soto, has been appointed for a four-year term.

Echavarría Soto is currently a professor at the Universidad del Rosario. He has previously held various public and private sector positions, including co-director of the central bank from 2003 to 2013 and head of Fedesarrollo from 1998 to 2003.

The 64-year old Oxford University graduate also ran the presidential campaign of Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos, in 2014.

Former Colombian Finance Minister and current Columbia University professor José Antonio Ocampo had been considered the front-runner to replace Uribe Escobar, according to an earlier survey of Colombian academics that was reported by La República.