Exter Oration

Aug 29, 2008 (LBO) – John Exter, the founding Governor of the Central Bank of Ceylon (as the Bank was called at that time) was indeed a unique history maker on many counts . John Exter had an illustrious academic as well as a professional career. He graduated from Wooster College and entered both Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Harvard University to do graduate work. After his Harvard years, he had a brief stint at MIT as a professor during the World War II. Then, he joined the Federal Reserve System as an economist. In 1948, he was released from the Federal Reserve System to function as the advisor to the Secretary of Finance of the Government of the Philippines. When the Government of Ceylon was looking for a suitable consultant to advise it on the establishment of a reserve bank in Ceylon, the Federal Reserve System made available his services to the government.

He could not return to USA after submitting his report, because the Government of Ceylon had other plans for him. The Government, having considered the need for a competent professional to oversee the formation of the fledgling Central Bank, invited him to serve as its founding Governor. It is reported