Whitaker Lecture

TK Whitaker

Thomas Kenneth Whitaker served as Secretary of the Department of Finance from 1956 to 1969 and Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland from 1969 to 1976.

He is widely credited as being responsible for reviving the fortunes of the Irish economy and has been described as the most influential public servant in the history of the state.

During his time as Secretary of the Department of Finance, Whitaker famously authored the Programme for Economic Development which became the blueprint for Ireland’s transition in the 1960s.

This saw a move away from economic protectionism in favour of a strategy of encouraging foreign investment.

During his tenure at the Central Bank, Governor Whitaker led the modernisation of the institution and the expansion of its mandate.

Whitaker Lecture

Since 2006 the Central Bank has hosted a lecture series in honour of Whitaker where a well-known figure from the field of economics presents on a different topic.

Past speakers include Jean-Claude Trichet, Mario Draghi, Mark Carney, Augustín Carstens and Frances Ruane.

The Whitaker Lecture was held biannually until 2017 when it became an annual event.

Following a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the lecture returns in April 2023.

Information on previous lectures can be found at the links below.

See also: