Gita Gopinath, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will leave her post in January, 2022, Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director announced on Tuesday. The 49-year-old prominent Indian-American economist will return to the Harvard University as planned when her public service leave of absence from the university ends, the Fund said.
Gopinath was the first-ever woman chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She joined the fund in October 2018 and led new IMF analytical research on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination targets as well as on climate change mitigation.
“She made history as the first female Chief Economist of the Fund and we benefited immensely from her sharp intellect and deep knowledge of international finance and macroeconomics as we navigate through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” IMF said.
Gopinath played a key role in drafting a $50 billion proposal on ending Covid-19 pandemic by vaccinating at least 40 per cent people of all countries by the end of 2021 and at least 60 per cent by the first half of 2022. Her proposal won praise and later endorsed by the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization.
This work led to the creation of the multilateral task force made up of the leadership of the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation and the World Health Organisation to help end the pandemic and 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, the IMF said in a statement.
IMF managing director cited Gopinath’s “tremendous” impact on the IMF’s work while announcing her leave. “Gita’s contribution to the Fund and our membership has been truly remarkable – quite simply, her impact on the IMF’s work has been tremendous,” Georgieva said in a statement.
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