Photo: Helge Hansen/CMI

Just Faaland passed away on 17 February. He was 95 years old. We have lost a warm inspirator, colleague and friend. Bergen has lost a world citizen.

Just Faaland was born in Tromsø in 1922, and grew up in Oslo. He studied actuarial science at the University of Oslo, but was sent to a German concentration camp in Buchenwald in 1943. He returned to Norway in May 1945, finished his actuarial degree and studied economics under Nobel Laureate, Professor Ragnar Frisch. After studies in Economics at the University of Oxford, Faaland was employed by the Marshall organization OEEC (later OECD) in Paris in 1949. In 1952, he was called to become a member of the Chr. Michelsen Institute. He was only 30 years old.

Faaland had an outstanding international engagement, and dedicated his life to development research, poverty eradication and international cooperation. In 1957, he was hired by Harvard University as an adviser to the Government of Pakistan. When he returned to CMI, he started a major research project on development economics with money from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundation. He hired economists who combined research and advisory services in developing countries, and this laid the foundation for the thematic focus and research at current CMI. Faaland was an advisor to governments in Pakistan and Malaysia. He worked for the World Bank, ILO, World Food Programme and UNDP in Bangladesh, Paris, Washington. Faaland had unique entrepreneurial abilities and was influential because he combined the theoretical, the practical and the political. He was a visionary leader who shaped the organizations he led into influential knowledge centers. Faaland was director for Chr. Michelsen Institute for 28 years.

Just Faaland published numerous articles, books and reports. He received many honors for his work, including Honorary Doctorate at the Universities of Bergen and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and the Order of St. Olav. He was one of the architects behind the successful inclusive economic policy in Malaysia. For this he received the Merdeka award for his "outstanding contribution to the people of Malaysia" in 2010.

Just Faaland had an outstanding career. He made development research useful and relevant. With his beloved Judith faithfully by his side, Just inspired, encouraged and shared his knowledge with great care for us at CMI and for colleagues all over the world. He reminded us of why we work at CMI, and that the important thing is to make a difference. His many friends from other continents testify to his open-minded and warm personality. Our warm thoughts go to his loved ones.