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Gita Gopinath to leave IMF job and return to Harvard University

Mysuru-born Gopinath is the first-ever woman chief economist of the IMF

Gita Gopinath joins IMF as its first female chief economist Gita Gopinath | File

IMF's Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will leave her job in January next year and return to the prestigious Harvard University. 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.

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.

Among her other key accomplishments, Gopinath helped set up a climate change team inside the IMF to analyse, among other things, optimal climate mitigation policies.

"I would like to express my personal appreciation to Gita for her impressive contributions, her always wise counsel, her devotion for the mission of the Research Department and the Fund more broadly, as well as her widely recognised inclusive and accessible approach to colleagues and staff," Georgieva added.

Born in December 1971 to Malayali parents, Gopinath had her schooling in Kolkata and graduated from the Lady Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi. She did Masters from the Delhi School of Economics as well as from the University of Washington.


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