Gita Gopinath becomes first woman Chief Economist at IMF

Oct 3, 2018 17:08 IST
Gita Gopinath becomes first woman Chief Economist at IMF

India-born Gita Gopinath was appointed as the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on October 3, 2018, becoming the first woman to hold the position.

Gopinath would be succeeding Maurice Obstfeld, who is to retire at the end of 2018. She will be assuming the post of economic counselor and director of the IMF’s Research Department.

Speaking on her appointment, IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that Gopinath is one of the world's outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience.

Significance

Gita Gopinath has also become the second Indian to hold the position, after former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.

About Gita Gopinath

  IMF appoints India-born Gita Gopinath as Chief Economist Born in Kolkata, India in 1971, Gopinath is a US citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India.

She completed her graduation from Delhi University’s Lady Shri Ram College and acquired a double master's degree from the Delhi School of Economics and the University of Washington.

Gopinath completed her PhD in economics from Princeton University in 2001 and joined the University of Chicago in the same year as an Assistant Professor before moving to Harvard in 2005.

Currently, Gopinath is the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.

She is the third woman in the history of Harvard to be a permanent member of its esteemed economics department and the first Indian since the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to hold that position. She became a tenured Professor there in 2010.

She is the co-editor of the American Economic Review and co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

She is also the co-editor of the current Handbook of International Economics with former IMF Economic Counsellor Kenneth Rogoff.

Gopinath has authored around 40 research articles on exchange rates, trade and investment, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt and emerging market crises.

In 2014, she was named one of the top 25 economists under 45 by the IMF and was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.

In 2016, her appointment as financial advisor to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had generated controversy as some communist leaders questioned the CPM-led state government for roping in a person who was more into the market economy and liberal policies.

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