Gita Gopinath: Vocal critic of demonetization appointed as IMF Chief Economist

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday appointed Gita Gopinath, a professor at Harvard University, at its new chief economist.

The 46-year-old eminent academic and economic adviser to the Kerala government will succeed USA’s Maurice Obstfeld, who announced in July, that he would retire at the end of this year.

“Gita is one of the world’s outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience,” Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, said in a press statement.

“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,” she added.

The Harvard economics professor has also been vocal in her criticism for PM Modi’s controversial demonetization in November 2016.

In her several interviews, Gita said ‘not a single macroeconomist she knows thinks demonetization was a good idea.’

She received her Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 2001 for her work on international macroeconomics and trade and was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago before moving to Harvard in 2005.

Her bachelor’s degree was from Lady Sri Ram College in New Delhi.

She received the Bhagwati Prize for the best paper published in the Journal of International Economics in 2003 and 2004.

In 2014, she was named one of the top 25 economists under 45 by the IMF and she was a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2011.

Gopinath is also the co-editor of the American Economic Review and Handbook of International Economics, co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Programme at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

She has authored some 40 research articles on exchange rates, trade and investment, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt, and emerging market crises, according to the IMF.

With agencies input