- Gita Gopinath will be appointed as the IMF’s first deputy managing director early next year.
- Gopinath will take the position of Geoffrey Okamoto as the IMF’s first deputy managing director.
- This is the first time in the history of IMF that women have held the top leadership positions.
Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s high-profile top economist, will take over as the IMF’s number two next month, the fund confirmed on Thursday.
Gopinath will succeed Geoffrey Okamoto as the IMF’s first deputy managing director, reporting to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Kristalina Georgieva. This is the first time in IMF history that two women have held the top two positions.
IMF Chief, Georgieva describes Gopinath as “the right person at the right time” to take up the leadership role.
I am honored to become the IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director. With the pandemic, the work of the Fund has never been more important. I look forward to working with my brilliant colleagues to help our membership face these important challenges.https://t.co/jpp3C7dRog— Gita Gopinath (@GitaGopinath) December 2, 2021
The announcement comes as a surprise because Gopinath, the IMF’s first woman top economist, stated in October that she expected to return to Harvard University in January to continue her tenured facility post after 3 years of public service.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “some realignment of the duties and responsibilities of the fund’s top management team is underway.”
The first deputy managing director is traditionally nominated by the United States and appointed by the IMF managing director. According to a person familiar with the department’s viewpoint who asked not to be identified, the Treasury supports this option and is pleased that the job duties of this position are being reinstated.
During the pandemic era and the 2020 recession, which was the worst peacetime slump since the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 to 1939, Gopinath led the IMF’s research division. After teaching in Harvard’s economics department since 2005, she joined the Washington-based lender in January 2019, replacing Maury Obstfeld. She has a degree in economics from Princeton University, where Ben Bernanke was a professor before becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve.
According to the announcement, Okamoto, who was appointed as the first deputy MD in March 2020, intends to return to the private sector. He was the acting assistant secretary of the Treasury Department for international finance and development before joining IMF, and he was a veteran of President Donald Trump’s trade talks with China.