The IMF’s high-profile chief economist Gita Gopinath will become the number two officer at the Washington-based crisis lender next month, the fund announced Thursday.
Gopinath will replace Geoffrey Okamoto as the first deputy managing director, who serves under IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva – the first time two women have held top leadership roles.
Georgieva called Gopinath “the right person at the right time” to take on the leadership role.
“Especially given that the pandemic has increased the scale and scope of the macroeconomic challenges facing our member countries, I believe that Gita – recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists – has exactly the expertise we need. The FDMD’s role at this point,” Georgieva said in the statement.
“Indeed, her particular skill set — combined with her years of experience at the fund as chief economist — makes her uniquely qualified.”
Gopinath, who was appointed to his current role in October 2018, was due to return to his position at Harvard University in January, but will now leave the university. She was born in India but is also an American citizen.
The economist, who leads the IMF team that produces the closely watched quarterly World Economic Outlook, became a much-visible figure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“She demonstrated intellectual leadership in helping the global economy and fund navigate the twists and turns of the worst economic crisis of our lives,” Georgieva said.
Gopinath said that “as the pandemic continues its grip on us, fund work has never been more important and international cooperation has never been more important.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)