Gita Gopinath, an Indian-American, has been promoted to the IMF's First Deputy Managing Director position
Gita Gopinath served as the IMF's top economist for three years until returning to her teaching job at Harvard University in January 2022
The International Monetary Fund's chief economist, Indian-American Gita Gopinath, has been promoted to First Deputy Managing Director, the fund announced Thursday.
Geoffrey Okamoto, who wants to depart the Fund early next year, would be replaced by her. Gopinath served as the IMF's chief economist for three years before returning to her teaching job at Harvard University in January 2022.
"Both Geoffrey and Gita are tremendous colleagues, I am sad to see Geoffrey go but, at the same time, I am delighted that Gita has decided to stay and accept the new responsibility of being our FDMD," said Kristalina Georgieva, IMF's Managing Director.
Gopinath's contribution to the Fund's work, according to Georgieva, has already been extraordinary, "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, who she described as "the first female chief economist in IMF history," has earned respect and admiration from member countries and the organisation for her track record of spearheading analytically rigorous work on a wide variety of issues, she added.
The IMF's Research Department has gone from "strength to strength" under Gopinath's leadership, with the IMF's Managin highlighting the department's contributions in multilateral surveillance via the World Economic Outlook, a new analytical approach to help countries respond to international capital flows (the integrated policy framework), and Gopinath's recent work on a pandemic plan to end the COVID-19 crisis by setting targets to vaccinate the world at a reasonable cost.
"As the pandemic continues its grip on us, the work of the Fund has never been more critical and international cooperation never more important. I am very thankful to Kristalina and the Board for this opportunity, and so look forward to collaborating closely with all the incredibly brilliant and committed colleagues at the Fund, working with whom has been an absolute privilege," Gopinath said.
Given the increasingly complicated policy decisions and challenging trade-offs confronting the IMF's 190 member nations, Georgieva emphasised that some reconfiguration in the duties and responsibilities of the Fund's top management team is underway, aggravated by the epidemic.
According to her, the FDMD will be in charge of monitoring and related policies, as well as overseeing research and flagship publications and assisting in the development of the highest quality standards for IMF publications.