India-born economist Gita Gopinath joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as its Chief Economist, becoming the first woman and the second Indian to do so. She succeeded Maurice Obstfeld, who retired at the end of 2018, as Economic Counsellor and Director of IMF’s Research Department. The announcement of her appointment to this role was made in October 2018. However, she formally joined the IMF in January 2019.
Gopinath has had an illustrious career as an economist before she held this post. She was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics at Harvard University. Further, she is the third woman and the second Indian after Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to be made a permanent member of the economics department at Harvard. In 2014, she was named by the IMF as one of the top economists under 45. She had also authored dozens of articles on topics such as monetary policy, exchange rates, and trade and investment.
Founded in 1945, the IMF is an international body working to facilitate international trade, reduce poverty across the world, and enhance sustainable economic growth.