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‘Right Person At The Right Time’: IMF’s Gita Gopinath To Take Up Top Role

Gita Gopinath will succeed Geoffrey Okamoto as first deputy managing director, serving under IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, the first time two women have held the top leadership roles.

Gita Gopinath to become IMF's first deputy managing director early next year
Gita Gopinath to become IMF's first deputy managing director early next year. (Photo:PTI)

Washington: IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director Geoffrey Okamoto will resign next year, and Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will replace him, the fund announced on Thursday. “The IMF said today 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,” the press release said.

Although Gopinath had been scheduled to return to her academic position at Harvard University in January next year, she decided to stay and accepted the new position, according to the release.

“In particular, the FDMD will take the lead on surveillance and related policies, oversee research and flagship publications and help foster the highest quality standards for Fund publications,” the release noted. Gopinath will start in her new role on January 21, 2022.

Georgieva call Gopinath “the right person at the right time” to take the leadership role. “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 is universally recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists and has precisely the expertise that we need for the FDMD role at this point,” Georgieva said in the statement.

Gopinath, who was appointed to her current role in October 2018, was due to return to her position at Harvard University in January but will now leave the university. She was born in India but also is a US citizen.

The economist, who leads the IMF team that produces the closely-watched quarterly World Economic Outlook, became a much more visible figure during the Covid-19 pandemic.

(With Inputs from ANI)

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