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IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath Set to Return to Harvard University

IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath Set to Return to Harvard University

  • The university had extended her leave of absence, allowing her to work at the international financial institution for three years.

Gita Gopinath, chief economist and director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will return to Harvard early next year. According to the IMF, Gopinath will head back to the university’s Department of Economics, “as planned, when her public service leave ends.” Harvard had extended Gopinath’s leave of absence “on an exceptional basis by one year, which has allowed her to serve as chief economist at the IMF for three years.” Before her appointment at IMF, she was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.

“My immense gratitude to all my amazing colleagues at @IMFNews who make working at the IMF truly gratifying,” Gopinath tweeted. “I look forward to continue working with them the next few months before my return to @Harvard.”


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.”

The 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 University of Washington. 

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Apart from being a professor at Harvard, Gopinath was a visiting scholar at both the IMF and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She was also a member of the economic advisory panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, economic adviser to the Chief Minister of Kerala, and member of the Eminent Persons Advisory Group on G-20 Matters for India’s Ministry of Finance. Before joining Harvard in 2005, she was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

She is married to Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal, the global executive director at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Department of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The couple has a son named Rohil.

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