Mysuru girl Gita Gopinath to be IMF's chief economist

Gopinath will be the first woman to hold this position at the International Monetary Fund

Gita will succeed Maurice Obstfeld, who announced in July that he would retire at the end of 2018. (Image courtesy:

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday appointed Indian-origin Harvard University professor Gita Gopinath as its new chief economist.

"International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde appointed Gita Gopinath on Monday as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department," IMF said in a statement.

Her father T V Gopinath, an entrepreneur and farmer, said: "She was born in Kolkata (1971) and we came to Mysuru when she was around nine years old. Before that, we were in New Delhi and Hyderabad. She studied in Nirmala Convent School up to SSLC and did her PUC in Mahajana’s College, both in Mysuru."

She received her PhD in economics from Princeton University in 2001 after earning a BA from the University of Delhi and MA degrees from both the Delhi School of Economics and University of Washington.

She joined the University of Chicago in 2001 as an Assistant Professor before moving to Harvard in 2005. She became a tenured Professor there in 2010. Gita is a US citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India.

Gita will succeed Maurice Obstfeld, who announced in July that he would retire at the end of 2018. She currently serves as the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.

Gita's Harvard profile

“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 said in a 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.

Gita is co-editor of the American Economic Review and co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Prior to this, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan was the sole Indian/India-origin person to hold the coveted post at the IMF.

(With inputs from T R Sathish Kumar in Mysuru)

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Mysuru girl Gita Gopinath to be IMF's chief economist


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