Gita Gopinath takes over as IMF chief econ­o­mist

Asian Journal - - J2U5NAL - By Arul Louis

United Na­tions: Em­i­nent aca­demic and for­mer eco­nomic ad­viser to the Ker­ala gov­ern­ment, Gita Gopinath has taken over as the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund’s (IMF) chief econ­o­mist in a time of global fi­nan­cial uncer­tainty.

In a sign of grow­ing women power, she joins a select group of four women who will dom­i­nate the global eco­nomic sphere -- her boss and IMF’S Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Chris­tine La­garde, World Bank’s chief econ­o­mist Pinelopi Kou­jianou Gold­berg, and Kristalina Ge­orgieva, the Bank’s CEO who will be­come its in­terim Pres­i­dent next month. They con­front the con­flu­ence of a re­treat from glob­al­i­sa­tion, a trade war be­tween China and the US, un­cer­tain­ties in Europe over Brexit, weak­en­ing of sev­eral cur­ren­cies against the dol­lar and the grow­ing in­equal­i­ties be­tween na­tions and within coun­tries.

When La­garde an­nounced in Oc­to­ber Gopinath’s ap­point­ment with for­mal ti­tle of Eco­nomic Coun­sel­lor and Di­rec­tor of the Re­search De­part­ment, she called her “one of the world’s out­stand­ing econ­o­mists, with im­pec­ca­ble aca­demic cre­den­tials, a proven track record of in­tel­lec­tual lead­er­ship, and ex­ten­sive in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence”.

“All this makes her ex­cep­tion­ally well-placed to lead our Re­search De­part­ment at this im­por­tant junc­ture. I am de­lighted to name such a tal­ented fig­ure as our Chief Econ­o­mist,” La­garde said.

Be­fore com­ing to the IMF, where she suc­ceeded Mau­rice Ob­st­feld, Gopinath was the pro­fes­sor of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies and Eco­nom­ics at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity.

She was con­cur­rently ap­pointed in 2016 as the eco­nomic ad­viser to Ker­ala Chief Min­is­ter with the rank of prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary.

She has also served as a mem­ber of the Em­i­nent Per­sons Ad­vi­sory Group on G-20 Mat­ters for the In­dian Min­istry of Fi­nance.

Gita Gopinath

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