Washington: IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will leave her job in January next year and return to the prestigious Harvard University’s Economics Department, according to the global financial institution.
The 49-year-old prominent Indian-American economist had joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the Chief Economist in January 2019.
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 on Tuesday announced that the search for Gopinath’s successor would begin shortly.
Gita’s contribution to the Fund and our membership has been truly remarkable – quite simply, her impact on the IMF’s work has been tremendous, Georgieva said.
Mysuru-born Gopinath is the first-ever woman Chief Economist of the IMF. She was also the Director of the Research Department of the IMF.
Harvard University had extended her leave of absence on an exceptional basis by one year, which has allowed her to serve as Chief Economist at the IMF for three years.
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 navigate 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.
The IMF said that as part of her many significant initiatives, Gopinath co-authored the Pandemic Paper on how to end the COVID-19 pandemic that set globally endorsed targets for vaccinating the world.
This work led to the creation of the Multilateral Task Force made up of the leadership of the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation and the World Health Organisation to help end the pandemic and the establishment of a working group with vaccine manufacturers to identify trade barriers, supply bottlenecks, and accelerate delivery of vaccines to low- and lower-middle income countries, the IMF said in a statement.