Gita Gopinath to replace Okamoto as IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director

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Washington, Dec 3: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that Gita Gopinath, currently chief economist of the IMF, is set to succeed Geoffrey Okamoto as the institution’s First Deputy Managing Director (FDMD) early next year.

“Especially given that the pandemic has led to an increase in the scale and scope of the macroeconomic challenges facing our member countries, I believe that Gita … has precisely the expertise that we need for the FDMD role at this point,” Xinhua news agency quoted IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva as saying.

“I am honoured and humbled to become the IMF’s next FDMD,” Gita said in a statement. “As the pandemic continues its grip on us, the work of the Fund has never been more critical and international cooperation never more important.”

Gopinath’s new appointment was unexpected as she said in October that she had planned to return to Harvard University in January 2022.

Okamoto, who was appointed FDMD of the IMF in March 2020, plans to leave the IMF and return to the private sector early next year, according to the IMF.

“It’s been a privilege to be entrusted with leading the IMF during a period of crisis and an honour to serve alongside the world’s best minds tackling the world’s most complex economic issues,” Okamoto said.

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