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The IMF’s chief economist, Gita Gopinath, will become number 2 of the institution

The current chief economist of the IMF Gita Gopinath, who was to leave the institution to return to Harvard in January, will finally become the number 2 of the International Monetary Fund, announced Thursday the institution in a statement.

Gita Gopinath, who turns 50 next week, will replace Geoffrey Okamoto as deputy general manager who is leaving the Fund.

On October 19, the IMF announced that Gita Gopinath, of Indian origin, would leave the institution next January to return to her post in the economics department of the prestigious Harvard University.

“Harvard University had extended Ms. Gopinath’s leave for one year on an exceptional basis, which allowed her to occupy the post of chief economist at the IMF for three years,” the Fund had then justified.

Asked by AFP, a spokesperson clarified that Gita Gopinath was leaving Harvard.

“I think Gita – universally recognized as one of the world’s leading macroeconomists – has the expertise we need,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in the statement on Thursday.

“Indeed, her specific skills, combined with her years of experience at the Fund as Chief Economist, make her particularly qualified. She’s the right person at the right time, ”she opined.

Ms. Gopinath said she was “honored” to have been chosen for this position.

She emphasizes that as the pandemic continues to rage, “the work of the Fund has never been so critical and international cooperation has never been so important”.

Gita Gopinath made history as the Fund’s first female chief economist.

She was born and raised in India, before completing her studies in the United States, where she acquired American citizenship.

Geoffroy Okamoto, 36, former head of the US Treasury, was chosen by Ms. Georgieva in March 2020 to replace David Lipton, forced to leave.

At the Treasury, he had been in charge of international finance and development, overseeing global financial markets and managing coordination with G7 and G20 countries.

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