Who Is Gita Gopinath, The IMF’s First Female Chief Economist?

Coleman Doyle | Contributor

The International Monetary Fund just recently appointed Gita Gopinath, a Harvard professor, as its next chief economist. She will become the second Indian and first woman to be appointed to this prestigious position.

She will be replacing Maurice Obstfeld, who announced this past July that he would be retiring at the end of this year.

Gopinath, who is currently the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University, has a long list of qualifications and achievements. She is the co-editor of the American Economic Review and co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In addition, she is a co-editor of the current Handbook of International Economics, and she has written about 40 research articles on topics such as exchange rates, trade and investment, international finance crises, monetary policy, debt, and emerging market crises according to the IMF.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement that “Gita is one of the world’s outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience,” and that “All this makes her exceptionally well-placed to lead our Research Department at this important juncture.”

Gopinath was born in India, and is now both a U.S. citizen and an overseas citizen for India. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 2001. She was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago until 2005 when she became a professor at Harvard University. She later became a tenured professor at Harvard in 2010.

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