IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will be the number 2 of the organization

IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will be the number 2 of the organization

IMF’s current chief economist Gita Gopinath, who was to leave the institute in January to return to Harvard, will eventually become the International Monetary Fund’s No. 2, the institute announced in a statement on Thursday.

Geeta Gopinath, who turns 50 next week, will succeed Geoffrey Okamoto as deputy general manager, who is leaving the fund.

On 19 October, the IMF announced that Indian-origin Gita Gopinath would leave the institute the following January to return to her position in the prestigious Harvard University’s economics department.

“Harvard University on an extraordinary basis extended Ms Gopinath’s leave by one year, allowing her to hold the position of Chief Economist at the IMF for three years,” the fund had then justified.

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

“I think Gita – who is recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists – has the expertise we need,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement on Thursday.

“Indeed, his distinctive skills, combined with his years of experience at the fund as chief economist, make him particularly qualified. He is the right person at the right time,” she said.

Ms Gopinath said she was “honoured” to be selected for the position.

She stresses that as the pandemic continues, “fund work has never been so important and international cooperation has never been so important”.

Gita Gopinath made history as the fund’s first woman chief economist.

She was born and raised in India, before completing her studies in the United States, where she acquired American citizenship.

Geoffroy Okamoto, 36, the former head of the US Treasury, was chosen by Ms Georgieva in March 2020 to replace David Lipton, who was forced to leave.

At the Treasury, he was in charge of international finance and development, overseeing global financial markets and managing coordination with G7 and G20 countries.

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