The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently appointed Indian-origin Harvard economist Gita Gopinath as its Chief Economist. She is the first woman in leadership to be appointed to the post.
IMF Director Christine Lagarde said on her appointment, “Gita Gopinath is an outstanding economist with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience. I am delighted to name such a talented figure as the IMF’s Chief Economist.”
Gita has been a professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University. She is also the co-director of the International Finance and Microeconomics programme at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She will succeed Maurice Obstfeld who will retire at the end of 2018. Interestingly, Gita will be the second Indian after former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan to hold the position.
Born to T.V. Gopinath, a farmer-entrepreneur, and V.C. Vijayalakshmi from Kannur, Gita is also Economic Advisor to the Chief Minister of Kerala.
Gita is married to Iqbal Dhaliwal, an executive director at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Department of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.
Gita will join the IMF at a time when the organisation is tackling issues such as the technology on employment, and surge in protectionism. Her research on external influences that countries cannot manage or control but play an important role in determining key domestic variables elevated her to the position.
Gita was co-editor of the American Review and was named among the top 25 economists below the age of 45. She also served on the Federal Reserve Advisory Council. She has so far researched and authored 40 articles on exchange rates, trade and investments, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt, and emerging market crises.