Gita Gopinath to leave IMF in January 2022

Gita Gopinath to leave IMF in January 2022

October 21, 2021

Washington: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will return to Harvard University in January as planned when her public service leave of absence from the University ends, the IMF said on Tuesday.

She had joined the Fund in October 2018 and led new IMF analytical research on COVID pandemic and vaccination targets as well as on climate change mitigation.

Mysuru-born Gita Gopinath is the first woman to occupy the top IMF post. Her parents T.V. Gopinath and V.C. Vijayalakshmi, both from Kerala, currently reside in Mysuru.

She was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University when she joined the Washington-based global lender. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva cited Gita’s “tremendous” impact on the IMF’s work.

“She made history as the first female Chief Economist of the Fund and we benefited immensely from her sharp intellect and deep knowledge of international finance and macroeconomics as we navigated through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

“Gita also won the respect and admiration of colleagues in the research department, across the Fund, and throughout the membership for leading analytically rigorous work and policy-relevant projects with high impact and influence,” Georgieva said.

Gita won praise for drafting a 50 billion dollar proposal on ending the pandemic by vaccinating at least 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021, a plan later endorsed by the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation and the World Health Organisation.

Gita helped set up a climate change team inside the IMF to analyse, among other things, optimal climate mitigation policies. Later, in a tweet, Gita Gopinath thanked her colleagues for making her stint at the IMF truly gratifying.

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Her leave from Harvard, already extended by one year, was ending, and her family had remained in Boston. She will remain at the IMF to oversee the release of the Fund’s next World Economic Outlook forecasts in January.


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