Heiko earns place on British Council Alumni Award shortlist

  • Date

    Thu 12 Apr 18

Heiko Hesse

Essex graduate Heiko Hesse has been selected as a European regional finalist in this year’s British Council Alumni Awards for his outstanding contribution to international economics.


As well as his achievements in economics, Heiko, who is a native of Germany and Thailand, was also a professional football player for Borussia Dortmund and a member of the German national youth team.

Heiko, who is now a Senior Economist at the European Commission in Brussels took an undergraduate degree in Financial Economics at Essex and says his studies in the UK were “instrumental” for his future career.

He also found that Essex spurred on his desire to become an economist.

He said: “Essex deepened my passion for solving real world economic problems. I clearly remember my Essex days when I was studying Japanese banking and Swedish currency crises. My studies made me aware of the importance of academic rigour when examining pertinent economic issues that can affect the livelihood of many citizens.”

He received Essex’s Alumni of the Year Award in 2015 and shared his “wonderful undergraduate Essex experience” with students at one of our graduation ceremonies.
After finishing his undergraduate studies at Essex, Heiko completed a DPhil (Doctor of Philosophy) at Oxford University and later joined the World Bank Group in Washington DC as a consultant and economist.

Since 2007 Heiko has worked on major financial crisis issues in both advanced and developing countries for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and was President and Advisory Board Member for the Washington European Society.

During his time at IMF he worked on the financial crisis in Romania, Spain and Turkey and contributed to the IMF’s work to enhance the stability and prospects of these countries.
He said: “Honest policy advice to member countries has been key. I am not a politician but a technocrat, who hopes with sound analytical judgement to give advice to policymakers and politicians to make the right decisions for the prosperity and future of their citizens.”

Now as Senior Economist at the European Commission, Heiko is responsible for the Italian banking sector in the Economics and Finance Doctorate at a time of high volatility.
He hopes his inspiring story will encourage others to study in the UK.

“I strongly believe that with the current uncertain outlook with Brexit on the UK education system, it will be essential for many voices to praise the virtues of a UK education in an increasing globalised and competitive world.”

The British Council Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. Now in its fourth year, more than 1,700 entries from 125 countries representing 140 UK higher education institutes were received for this year's awards.

Regional Award Winners will be announced on 19 April. Winners will then go on to compete for the prestigious Global Alumni Awards which will be announced at the end of April.

Please visit the British Council Alumni Award website to read more about this year's inspirational finalists.