“A dream of mine was to be able to bring all of the experience that I have and be able to teach economics at UTC. That has now come true and I am both thrilled and grateful for it,” said Kruger
Kruger first came to Chattanooga when he was asked to work as a cross cultural management consultant at Volkswagen.
“This profession is relatively new. You help to prepare executives, engineers, technicians, human resources personnel, and other employees to live, work, and manage in different cultures,” said Kruger.
Initially, Kruger was living in New York City, commuting to Chattanooga once per month to conduct his business with Volkswagen.
“I didn’t know much about Chattanooga, so I assembled a team of local professionals who were from Chattanooga who had lived abroad and come back as well as those from abroad who had moved here, so they had that perspective, to help me. Then I got to know the city and its surroundings and made friends. I love it here,” said Kruger.
He then decided that instead of living in New York City and commuting to Chattanooga, he would rather do it the other way. So, while he travels to New York form time to time, he now primarily resides in Chattanooga.
“Lots of people I know say that they love Chattanooga, but they can’t put their finger on quite why, it’s just special. Well, I’ve identified sixteen reasons,” said Kruger.
A few of his reasons include the scenic beauty, the climate, the recreational opportunities, the city’s trajectory, the entrepreneur friendly business climate, and the cultural life – the music, the theater, the art, and the public festivals.
“But above all, I love the people. The welcome here is tremendous. I was made to feel very much at home. I never thought I would feel so at home here, in a midsized city, but when I wake up, I’m just glad to be here,” said Kruger.
Kruger also cites his love of UTC as a part of Chattanooga’s appeal.
“I love UTC. I love the campus, the new library and the Jacobean architecture that reminds me of England. I also love working with the students. I find that most of them are very motivated and enthusiastic,” said Kruger.
Since January, Kruger has been teaching two sections of Macro Economics, drawing on his experience as an international economist.
“If I am able to continue teaching at UTC, I would love to spread to different topics, such as international economics and economics of developing countries, based not only on books but my own experience and contacts within those fields,” Kruger said.
Kruger is the president of his own consultation firm, Compass Development Strategies. He was also formerly the Chief Economist of The Conference Board and has worked as an International Development Economist with the United Nations. Kruger holds degrees in Political Economy with honors from University College London; the London School of Economics London; and the Graduate Faculty of the New School University, New York.
He has worked not only with Volkswagen, but with other major companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Heineken. He taught at the graduate level for seven years at Columbia University and three years at New York University. Kruger has also worked on site with the economies of developing nations, such as in northeastern Brazil, the poorest part of the country, as it industrialized.
“At the time I was teaching economics, international economics, and the economics of developing countries, and I thought that rather than just teaching it, I wanted to see how it’s done. I worked with the poorest of the poor, but also bankers and contractors. It was an important project in my life because I could see and experience the economic development process up close,” Kruger said.
Kruger says he looks forward to bringing his vast experience to the students of UTC.
“I’ve had the opportunity to do lots of wonderful things in my life, but I’m very humbled by what I still have to learn, and I’m very honored that this university has invited me to be a part of their teaching staff and I would love for it to be a long term, mutually beneficial relationship,” Kruger said.