‘Breaking the trend’ Gita Gopinath joins wall of IMF chief economists

India born Gopinath created history as the IMF’s first woman chief economist

Kolkata-born Gita Gopinath, who created history becoming the first chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2019, has shattered another glass ceiling.

Her official portrait has made it to the wall of former chief economists of the Washington based international organization. The sole woman in a sea of men, Gopinath’s picture “breaks the trend,” – as she herself put it.

Read: India born Gita Gopinath to become IMF number two (December 3, 2021)

“Breaking the trend… I joined the wall of former Chief Economists of the IMF,” tweeted Gopinath posing along side the wall with 11 portraits of former chief economists of the Fund. In one of the photos, Gopinath is pointing at her portrait, the last one in the line.

Gopinath, 50, became the First Deputy Managing Director of IMF on January 21, 2022 after serving as chief economist for three years. She was succeeded by Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas.

In her current role, she “represents the Fund at multilateral forums, maintains high-level contacts with member governments and Board members, the media, and other institutions, leads the Fund’s work on surveillance and related policies, and oversees research and flagship publications,” according to IMF website.

In her previous role, Gopinath was the economic counsellor of the Fund and director of its research department. She helmed thirteen releases of the World Economic Outlook, including forecasts of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy.

She co-authored the “Pandemic Paper” on how to end the Covid-19 pandemic that set globally endorsed targets for vaccinating the world and 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.

An overseas citizen of India. Gopinath is the recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honor conferred on overseas Indians by the Government of India, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Washington.

Read: Gita Gopinath to leave IMF and return to Harvard University in January (October 20, 2021)

The IMF named her one of the ‘top 25 economists under 45’ in 2014, she was chosen as one of the ‘25 Indians to Watch’ by the Financial Times in 2012, and she was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.

Gopinath received her PhD in economics from Princeton University in 2001, after earning a B.A. from Lady Shri Ram College and MA degrees from Delhi School of Economics and the University of Washington.

Prior to joining the IMF, Gopinath was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics at Harvard University’s economics department (2005-22) and before that she was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business (2001-05).

Her research, which focuses on International Finance and Macroeconomics, is widely cited and has been published in many top economics journals.

She has authored numerous research articles on exchange rates, trade and investment, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt, and emerging market crises.

Gopinath is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society, and a member of the Group of Thirty. She has received numerous awards and commendations.

Read: Gita Gopinath joins the wall of former Chief Economists of the IMF (July 7, 2022)

In 2021, Financial Times named her among the ‘25 most influential women of the year,’ the International Economic Association named her the Schumpeter-Haberler Distinguished Fellow, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association recognized her with the John Kenneth Galbraith Award, and the Carnegie Corporation named her among ‘Great (American) Immigrants’.

She was named among the Bloomberg ‘50 people who defined 2019’, a ‘Top Global Thinker’ by Foreign Policy, and among the ‘Women who Broke Major Barriers to Become Firsts’ by Time Magazine.

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