NEW DELHI: Indian-origin Harvard University professor Gita Gopinath has been appointed chief economist of the International Monetary Fund or IMF, the international organisation tweeted. She replaces outgoing chief economist Maury Obstfeld, who will retire in December, IMF said.
Gita Gopinath is the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University. Her research focuses on international finance and macroeconomics.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde congratulated the economist on the appointment. “Gita Gopinath is an outstanding economist, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience. I am delighted to name such a talented figure as the IMF’s Chief Economist,” said Ms Lagarde, who has long championed greater inclusivity of women in geopolitics and global power circles.
At the World Economic Forum meet in January, Ms Lagarde told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he did not mention the women of India enough in his speech to the summit, adding “it’s not just a question of talking about them”. In April, she reiterated that PM Modi should pay more attention to women in the country.
Ms Gopinath, who was born and grew up in India, 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 University of Delhi and MA degrees from both the Delhi School of Economics and University of Washington, the IMF said in a statement.
Ms Gopinath has also served as a member of the “eminent persons advisory group” on G20 matters for India’s finance ministry, her profile on the Harvard University website says. Before joining Harvard, she was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.
In 2018, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A year before that, she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Washington.
In 2014, she was named one of the top 25 economists under 45 by the IMF and she was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.