The International Monetary Fund’s Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department Gita Gopinath will leave the organisation in January 2022, the global financial institution announced on Tuesday.
Gopinath will return to the Harvard University’s economics department. She was on public service leave during her tenure at the organisation, and the leave will end in January 2022.
Harvard had extended Gopinath’s leave by one year as an exceptional case, which allowed her to serve as the chief economist at the IMF for three years, the financial institution said in a press release.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Gopinath’s contribution to the fund was “truly remarkable”.
“She made history as the first female chief economist of the fund and we benefitted 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,” Georgieva said.
Gopinath, during her tenure, co-authored the “Pandemic Paper”, a document that set globally endorsed targets for vaccinating the world against Covid-19, the IMF said.
“This work led to the creation of the Multilateral Task Force made up of the leadership of the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and WHO 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’s press release said.
The global finance institution’s research department, which Gopinath heads, publishes a quarterly World Economic Outlook report, which provides forecasts on gross domestic products of countries.
In its latest report released on October 12, the IMF predicted the global economy will grow by 5.9% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022. It had said that India’s economy is likely to grow by 9.5% in 2021 and 8.5% in 2022.
Gopinath was born in December 1971 in a Malayalee family. She graduated from the Lady Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi and subsequently completed her PhD in economics from the Princeton University in the United States.