In­dia’s Gopinath be­comes first woman IMF chief econ­o­mist

Mint Asia ST - - News - BAY SIT R ANJAN M ISHRA

In­dian-

ori­gin econ­o­mist Gita Gopinath has been ap­pointed chief econ­o­mist of the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF), be­com­ing only the sec­ond In­dian af­ter Raghu­ram Ra­jan to hold the pres­ti­gious post.

Ra­jan held the post from 2003 to 2006 be­fore he joined the fi­nance min­istry as chief eco­nomic ad­viser and later the gov­er­nor of the Re­serve Bank of In­dia (RBI).

Gopinath, 46, who suc­ceeds Mau­rice “Maury” Ob­st­feld, is the first woman to hold the post. Gopinath cur­rently serves as the John Zwaanstra Pro­fes­sor of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies and Eco­nom­ics at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity.

“Gita is one of the world’s out­stand­ing economists, with im­pec­ca­ble aca­demic cre­den­tials, a proven track record of in­tel­lec­tual lead­er­ship, and ex­ten­sive in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence,” IMF man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Chris­tine La­garde said in a state­ment.

“All this makes her ex­cep­tion­ally wellplaced to lead our re­search de­part­ment at this im­por­tant junc­ture. I am de­lighted to name such a tal­ented fig­ure as our Chief Econ­o­mist,” she added.

For­mer chief statis­ti­cian of In­dia Pronab Sen said Gopinath is a great choice. “She un­der­stands cen­tral bank­ing un­like most pre­vi­ous chief economists at the IMF.” Sen said she could well fol­low Ra­jan’s path to Mint Street. “It cer­tainly makes her a can­di­date for the top job at RBI,” Sen added.

Gopinath had served as eco­nomic ad­viser to Ker­ala chief min­is­ter Pi­narayi Vi­jayan.

Gopinath is co-ed­i­tor of the Amer­i­can Eco­nomic Re­view and co-di­rec­tor of the In­terna- tional Fi­nance and Macroe­co­nomics Pro­gram at the Na­tional Bureau of Eco­nomic Re­search. She is co-ed­i­tor of the cur­rent Hand­book of In­ter­na­tional Eco­nom­ics with for­mer IMF eco­nomic coun­sel­lor Ken­neth Ro­goff. She has au­thored some 40 re­search ar­ti­cles on ex­change rates, trade and in­vest­ment, in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial crises, mone­tary pol­icy, debt, and emerg­ing mar­ket crises.

Gopinath is a US cit­i­zen and an over­seas cit­i­zen of In­dia. She re­ceived her PHD in eco­nom­ics from Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity in 2001 af­ter earn­ing a BA from the Uni­ver­sity of Delhi and MA from both the Delhi School of Eco­nom­ics and Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton. She joined the Uni­ver­sity of Chicago in 2001 as an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor be­fore mov­ing to Har­vard in 2005. She be­came a tenured pro­fes­sor there in 2010.

RAMESH PATHANIA/MINT

New role: Gita Gopinath.

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