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Indian-American Gita Gopinath takes on the second-highest role in IMF

Gopinath, 49 will take over as the First Deputy Managing Director in January 2022. She also has the honor of being the first woman Chief Economist in the international body's history.

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On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund announced the appointment of Gita Gopinath as its First Deputy Managing Director.

The role would see Gopinath head surveillance and oversee research and publication at the IMF.

Gopinath was scheduled to return to Harvard University next month and leave the global lender but decided to stay after being offered the prestigious position.

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Her background

Gopinath, an Indian-American, will take on the second-highest role at the crisis lender based in Washington.

She also has the honor of being the first woman Chief Economist in the international body’s history, taking on the role in October 2018.

Gopinath, 49, will take over the new role on January 21, 2022. The decision comes after Geoffrey Okamoto, who currently holds the post, announced his retirement.

Gopinath earned her master’s from the Delhi School of Economics and the University of Washington after completing her bachelor’s from the University of Delhi. In 2001 she received her Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

World’s leading macroeconomist

Kristalina Georgieva, The Managing Director of IMF, in a tweet from her official Twitter handle, welcomed the newly appointed First Deputy Managing Director. Further stating that she looked forward to Gopinath’s joining and that she believed her to be one of the world’s leading macroeconomists.

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She also added that Gopinath’s drive and dedication would come in handy at a time when IMF members were facing complex economic challenges.

Ms. Gopinath, in response to her new appointment in a tweet from her official Twitter handle, wrote that she considered this to be a great honor. Also, stating that the IMF’s work had never been this critical as global economies struggled from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic furthermore, she looked forward to working with her team to face these challenges.

The international body’s leadership changes come against the backdrop of a World Bank, commissioned report which claimed that World Bank staff had altered data to favor China. The report also claimed the staff had done so under the pressure of Georgieva, the then CEO of the World Bank, and other high officials.

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