International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced that Gita Gopinath, the Fund’s Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department, intends to leave the Fund in January 2022 and return to Harvard University’s Economics Department as planned when her public service leave ends.
Harvard University had extended Gopinath’s leave of absence on an exceptional basis by one year, which has allowed her to serve as Chief Economist at the IMF for three years.
In announcing Gopinath’s intention to retire from the Fund, Georgieva stated: “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.
“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.
“Gita also won the respect and admiration of colleagues in the Research Department, across the Fund, and throughout the membership for leading analytically rigorous work and policy-relevant projects with high impact and influence.”
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. It also helped in 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.