The International Monetary Fund has announced that Gita Gopinath will take over as its second-ranking official in early 2022.
The IMF announced on Thursday that First Deputy Managing Director (FDMD) Geoffrey Okamoto will leave the Fund early next year and that Gita Gopinath, currently the IMF’s Chief Economist, is proposed to be the Fund’s new First Deputy Managing Director.
Ms. Gopinath, who is a U.S. national and Overseas Citizen of India, will start in her new position as FDMD on January 21, 2022. She has served as IMF’s chief economist—the first woman to hold the post in IMF’s history— for three years.
In making the announcement Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s Managing Director said, “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.”
Gopinath had been scheduled to leave the global financial institution to return to her academic position at Harvard University in January 2022, but has now decided to stay on in the wide-ranging policy role under IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF said in a media release.
Ms. Georgieva added: “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 is the right person at the right time.”
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Ms. Georgieva noted that Ms. Gopinath’s contribution to the Fund’s work has already been exceptional, especially her “intellectual leadership in helping the global economy and the Fund to navigate the twists and turns of the worst economic crisis of our lives.” She also said that Ms. Gopinath—the first female Chief Economist in IMF history—has garnered respect and admiration across our member countries and the institution, with a proven track record in leading analytically rigorous work on a broad range of issues.”
Ms. Georgieva observed that under Ms. Gopinath’s leadership, the IMF’s Research Department had gone from “strength to strength,” particularly highlighting its 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 Ms. Gopinath’s recent work on a Pandemic Plan to end the COVID-19 crisis by setting targets to vaccinate the world at feasible cost.
On her new appointment, Ms. Gopinath said:
“I am honored and humbled to become the IMF’s next FDMD. Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand and be a part of the hugely important work done by the IMF at the intersection of rigorous economic analysis and public policy. It has been so gratifying to see the positive impact of our work on economies and on the lives of so many people worldwide. 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.”
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