Indian-American Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is being promoted as IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director, as announced by the fund on Thursday.
Gopinath will replace Geoffrey Okomoto as the first deputy managing director, serving under IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.
In a statement, Georgieva 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.”
She says Gopinath is "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 -- universally recognized as one of the world's leading macroeconomists -- has precisely the expertise that we need for the FDMD role at this point," the IMF Chief added.
She said that Gopinath’s particular skill set -- combined with her years of experience at the Fund as Chief Economist -- make her uniquely well qualified for the post of First Deputy Managing Director.
Gopinath was appointed to her current role in October 2018 and was scheduled to return to her academic position at Harvard University in January 2022, but will now leave the university.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the economist, who leads the IMF team that produces the closely-watched quarterly World Economic Outlook, became a much more visible figure.
Georgieva also said, “Gopinath 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.”
Further, Gopinath thanked the Board and said, “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.”