The Kolkata-born Gita Gopinath, Professor at Harvard University, has been named the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She will succeed Maurice Obstfeld who, according to the IMF, will retire at the end of 2018.
Gopinath is the second Indian, after former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, to hold the position of Chief Economist of IMF. She is also the first ever woman to be named IMF’s Chief Economist.
Named one of the top 25 economists under the age of 45 by IMF in the year 2014, Gita Gopinath is, at present, the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University. She had pursued BA (Honors) in Economics in University of Delhi and MA in Delhi School of Economics as well as University of Washington. Later, she did her PhD. from Princeton University with specialization in International Macroeconomics and Trade.
Gita Gopinath was named a Young Global Leader in the year 2011 by the World Economic Forum. In 2016, she worked as the financial advisor to the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan.
The recently elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Gopinath, is the author of many articles on trade and investment, monetary policy, exchange rates, debt, international financial crises, and emerging market crises.
Apart from IMF, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have also appointed female chief economists. The Chief Economist of World Bank, since April 2018, is Pinelopi Koujianou who is the Elihu Professor of Economist at Yale University. In June 2018, OECD appointed Laurence Boone, former advisor to President Francois Hollande, as the Chief Economist.