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Gita Gopinath Breaks the Trend Becoming First Woman to Make it to IMF’s ‘Wall of Former Chief Economists’

Gita Gopinath Breaks the Trend Becoming First Woman to Make it to IMF’s ‘Wall of Former Chief Economists’

  • Last December, the Indian American was named the financial institution’s first deputy managing director.

Indian American Gita Gopinath, International Monetary Fund’s first deputy managing director has become the first woman and only the second Indian to be on the financial institution ‘Wall of Former Chief Economists.’ 

Gopinath took to Twitter on July 6 to display the wall of former chief economists with her photograph. “Breaking the trend,” she tweeted. “I joined the wall of former Chief Economists of the IMF.”

Raghuram Rajan, IMF’s chief economist and director of research is the other Indian on the list. Rajan, the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, served at the IMF from 2003 to 2006. He is an Indian citizen and holds a green card. 

Last December, Gopinath, 50, the first woman to serve as its chief economist, was named IMF’s first deputy managing director. The move comes as a surprise, due to an October announcement by Gopinath informing her return to Harvard University this January to retain her tenured facility post after three years of public service. Before her appointment at IMF, she was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.

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At IMF Gopinath has worked on several initiatives including authoring the “Pandemic Paper” on how to end the COVID-19 pandemic. “This work led to the creation of the Multilateral Task Force to help end the pandemic,” as well as the “establishment of a working group with vaccine manufacturers to identify trade barriers, supply bottlenecks, and accelerate delivery of vaccines to low- and lower-middle-income countries,” IMF says. She also helped set up a climate change team inside the IMF “to analyze, among other things, optimal climate mitigation policies.”

India-born Gopinath is a U.S. citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 2001 after earning a B.A. from Lady Shri Ram College and M.A. degrees from Delhi School of Economics and the University of Washington. 

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