Little over two years after she was appointed as the economic advisor to the Kerala government, economist Gita Gopinath has been appointed as Director of the International Monetary Fund’s Research Department.
Announcing the appointment as the IMF’s chief economist, IMF boss Christine Lagarde said that Gopinath was “one of the world’s outstanding economists with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership and extensive international experience”.
A statement by Lagarde said, “All this makes her exceptionally well-placed to lead our Research Department at this important juncture. I am delighted to name such a talented figure as our Chief Economist.”
The director of the IMF’s Research Department oversees the World Economic Outlook Report that is considered a major survey of the global economy as well as several other reports and research projects that determine the financial and economic statuses of countries, reported IANS.
She succeeds Maurice Obstfeld, who announced in July that he would retire at the end of this year.
Gopinath, who received her MA degree from the Delhi School of Economics, is the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.
Reacting to her appointment as the economic advisor to the Kerala government in 2016, Gopinath had said, “I am very honoured to have the opportunity to serve as the Economic Advisor to the Hon’able Chief minister, Pinarayi Vijayan.”
Gopinath has also been vocal in her criticism for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial note ban announcement in November 2016. In her several interviews in December 2017, Gopinath had said that the Modi government’s demonetisation plan was not macroeconomically sound. In an interview to Hindu Businessline, she had, however, supported reforms like GST and bankruptcy code.
Gopinath was born and grew up in India. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 2001 after completing her a BA from the University of Delhi and MA degrees from both the Delhi School of Economics and University of Washington.
Her appointment as the chief economist of the IMF gave ammunition to the critics of the Modi government. Here are some of the comments;
Congratulations to Indian-born Gita Gopinath on being appointed Chief Economist of IMF. In an interview she once said that not one global economist of standing will say demonetisation was a good idea- all cash is not black money, and all cash is not corruption!
— Derek O’Brien (@derekobrienmp) October 2, 2018
Headline you are unlikely to see in the Indian media:
“Harvard Professor Gita Gopinath, avowed critic of demonetisation/notebandi, appointed as IMF’s next Chief Economist.”
— Krishan Partap Singh (@RaisinaSeries) October 1, 2018
Powerful politician from India Rahul gandhi places Gita Gopinath as IMF’s next chief because she criticised demonetisation and will be used to target Modi .connect the dots : Priti gandhi . https://t.co/zmzEc9SWwp
— Thomas Shelby. (@ThisrtyScholarr) October 1, 2018
Gita Gopinath, the newly appointed IMF chief economist, will be the second Indian to hold the office after Raghuram Rajan. Like Rajan, she too was critical of Modi govt’s #demonetisation. Let’s have two minutes of silence for Bhakts. pic.twitter.com/chFH3APuWP
— Punster® (@Pun_Starr) October 1, 2018