IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath to quit job and return to Harvard University
Washington: IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath will quit his job in January next year and return to prestigious Harvard University, according to the global financial institution.
The eminent 49-year-old Indo-American economist joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as chief economist in January 2019.
She was John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University when she joined the Washington-based global lender.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday that the search for Gopinath’s successor would begin shortly.
“Gita’s contribution to the Fund and to our members has been truly remarkable – quite simply, its impact on the work of the IMF has been enormous,” Georgieva said.
Ms. Gopinath, born in Mysuru, was the IMF’s very first female chief economist.
Harvard University exceptionally extended his leave for one year, which allowed him to serve as chief economist at the IMF for three years.
“She made history as the Fund’s first female chief economist and we have benefited immensely from her keen intelligence and in-depth knowledge of international finance and macroeconomics as we navigate the worst economic crisis since 2014. Great Depression.
“Gita has also earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues in the Fund’s research department and all members for leading rigorous analytical work and policy relevant projects with high impact and influence,” said said Georgieva.
The IMF said that as part of its many important initiatives, Ms Gopinath co-authored the ‘Pandemic Paper’ on How to End the Covid-19 Pandemic which set globally approved targets for vaccinate the world.
This work led to the establishment of the Multilateral Task Force comprised of the leaders of the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization and World Health Organization to help end the pandemic and the setting up a working group with vaccine manufacturers to identify trade barriers, bottlenecks and accelerating vaccine delivery to low- and lower-middle-income countries, IMF said in a press release.
Among her other key achievements, Ms. Gopinath helped set up a climate change team within the IMF to analyze, among other things, optimal climate change mitigation policies.
“I would like to express my personal gratitude to Gita for his impressive contributions, his always wise advice, his dedication to the mission of the Research Department and the Fund in general, as well as for his inclusive and accessible approach widely recognized towards his colleagues and its staff. Georgieva added.
Born in December 1971 to Malayalee parents, Ms. Gopinath was educated in Kolkata and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi. She obtained a master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics and the University of Washington.
Ms. Gopinath received her PhD in Economics from Princeton University in 2001 and was guided by Kenneth Rogoff, Ben Bernanke and Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas.
She joined the University of Chicago in 2001 as an assistant professor before moving to Harvard in 2005. She became a full professor there in 2010.
She is the third woman in Harvard history to be a full professor in its prestigious economics department and the first Indian since Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to hold this post.
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