India-born economist Gita Gopinath was appointed the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund on Monday. This will make her the second India-born economist to hold the position after former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan.
At present, Gopinath is the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University, and will succeed Maurice Obstfeld, who announced in July that he would retire at the end of the year. She also serves as the financial adviser to the chief minister of Kerala.
“Gita is one of the world’s outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience,” said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. “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.”
Gopinath was born and raised in India. She is a US citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India. She received her PhD in economics from Princeton University in 2001 after earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Delhi. She earned her master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics and the University of Washington. She joined the University of Chicago in 2001 before moving to Harvard in 2005.
Gopinath co-edits the American Economic Review and is the co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She has authored close to 40 research articles on exchange rates, trade and investment, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt and emerging market crises.