Mr Yi has a business degree from Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota, before doing his PhD at University of IL and teaching as a professor at Indiana University. He received his doctorate from the University of IL, with a dissertation on statistical model selection methods.
His in-depth research into monetary policy and practical policy recommendations gained the attention of policymakers, so much so that he was invited to join the PBOC in 1997. He was also the head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) from 2009 to 2016.
He will succeed the country's longest serving central bank head, Zhou Xiaochuan.
Mr Yi has strong worldwide links and his appointment as governor of the People's Bank of China is evidence of commitment to redouble efforts to clean up the financial sector and bring monetary policy into line with global norms.
Analysts viewed Yi's promotion as a sign of continuity for the world's second-biggest economy. In the past, Yi has used positive terms to describe bitcoin. Until recently, the American-trained economist had been seen as a dark-horse candidate for the PBOC's leadership, largely due to the fact that he didn't become a full member of the Communist Party's powerful Central Committee during last fall's power transition.
Pakistan Not to Send 'Recalled' High Commissioner Back to India Anytime Soon
India for its part has alleged that several Indian mission staffers in Islamabad have been severely "harassed and intimidated". Indian diplomats based in Pakistan have alleged that Pakistani intelligence officials have entered their residential complexes.
Zhou was known as an advocate of Western-style reforms for China's once closed off economy. As early as 2002, he also called on the government to pay more attention to factors other than just the economic growth rate, suggesting authorities take into account employment, environment and the non-performing loan ratio at banks in addition to gross domestic product in their assessment of local officials' performance.
During his record 15-year term, Mr Zhou won kudos for his management of the PBoC during the global financial crisis and his success at bringing the country's yuan currency to reserve-currency status.
Beijing faces complaints it violates its market-opening commitments by requiring auto makers and other foreign companies to hand over technology to potential Chinese competitors.
In financial policy, "one thing that is very clear is that Liu He will play a more important role than Ma Kai" did, said Jianguang Shen, an economist in the Hong Kong office of Mizuho Securities, a Japanese investment banking and securities firm. But the man who has held the job for the past five years, Ma Kai, is a longtime central planner who appeared to spend most of his time as vice premier on issues involving state-owned enterprises.
The PBOC will likely ensure more resources are given to targeted areas of the real economy by decreasing their financing costs, said Zhu - areas such as infrastructure in underdeveloped areas, transportation, and high-tech industries.