Gita Gopinath becomes IMF number two

The chief economist of the IMF Gita Gopinath will become number two of the International Monetary Fund.

Gita Gopinath, who will turn 50 next week, replaces the deputy director general Geoffrey Okamoto, who leaves the institution.

She will thus become the second woman to hold the position after the American Anne Krueger (2001-2006).

On October 19, the IMF announced that Gita Gopinath, of Indian origin, would leave the institution in January to rejoin the Department of Economics of the prestigious Harvard University.

“Harvard University had exceptionally extended Gopinath’s license for one year, which allowed her to serve as chief economist at the IMF for three years,” the Fund then justified.

Asked by AFP, a spokesperson specified that Gita Gopinath was leaving Harvard.

“I believe that Gita, universally recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists, has the experience we need,” the IMF CEO said Thursday. Kristalina Georgieva, in the statement. “He is the right person at the right time,” he said.

Due to the pandemic, “the work of the Fund has never been so crucial and international cooperation so important” as now, said Gopinath, who was born and raised in India before completing his studies in the United States, where he acquired American nationality.

Geoffroy Okamoto, 36, a former senior US Treasury official, was elected by Georgieva in March 2020 to replace David Lipton.

The IMF has not yet revealed who the candidates are to replace Gita Gopinath as the institution’s chief economist.

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