Gita Gopinath to Become Number Two Official at Washington-Based Crisis Lender

Story Highlights
  • Chief economist Gita Gopinath to become the number two official at Washington-based crisis lender next month.
  • Will take over as first deputy managing director from Geoffrey Okamoto.
  • Georgieva claimed Gopinath as the right person to take the leadership role.

Washington: Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s high-profile top economist, will take over as the fund’s number two official next month, the Washington-based crisis lender revealed Thursday. She will take over as first deputy managing director from Geoffrey Okamoto, reporting to IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, marking the first time two women have held the top leadership positions. Gopinath, according to Georgieva, is “the right person at the right moment” to take over as leader. Georgieva said in the statement, “Especially given that the pandemic has led to an increase in the scale and scope of the macroeconomic challenges facing our member countries, I believe that Gita — universally recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists — has precisely the expertise that we need for the FDMD role at this point. Indeed, her particular skill set — combined with her years of experience at the Fund as Chief Economist — make her uniquely well qualified.” She added, “she displayed intellectual leadership in helping the global economy and the Fund to navigate the twists and turns of the worst economic crisis of our lives.”

Gopinath was supposed to return to her position at Harvard University in January after being appointed to her current position in October 2018, however she will now leave the university. She was born in India but also holds citizenship in the United States. During the Covid-19 outbreak, the economist who leads the IMF team that writes the carefully regarded quarterly World Economic Outlook became a considerably more visible figure. Gopinath said that “As the pandemic continues its grip on us, the work of the Fund has never been more critical and international cooperation never more important.”

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