Mysurean, Gita Gopinath appointed as IMF Chief Economist

She is the Second Indian after Raghuram Rajan

 New Delhi: Mysuru-born Harvard Professor Gita Gopinath, popularly called as GG, has been appointed as the Chief Economist at International Monetary Fund (IMF). She will advise the IMF on policy issues.

Gita is the first Indian women to be occupying the coveted post and the second Indian after former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday appointed Gita Gopinath as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department, release from the IMF said.

Gita Gopinath will succeed Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld. Gita Gopinath currently serves as the Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University.

Making the announcement, Lagarde said, ”Gita is one of the world’s outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience. All this makes her exceptionally well-placed to lead our Research Department at this important juncture.”

Mysuru Connection: Gita Gopinath’s  parents are from Kerela but settled in Mysuru in the early 1970s. Her father T.V. Gopinath is an Industrialist and her mother runs a play home in Kuvempunagar in Mysuru.

She did her primary education at Nirmala Convent and PUC at Mahajana’s College in Mysuru. After which she did under-graduation in Economics at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi.

After the studies in India, she went on to do her Ph.D in Economics from Princeton University in 2001. Then 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 becoming the first Indian women to be tenured.

Gita, who spoke to Star of Mysore on her last vist to Mysuru, said that she enjoys bollywood films and gossip as much as she delves into the financial crisis in the world.

Gita is married to her classmate Iqbal Dhaliwal, a Director of Policy at Abdul Lateef Jameel Poverty Action Lab at Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bitter critic of demonetisation: Along with her teaching assignments, she is also guiding Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Economic Policies. She has been a bitter critic of demonetisation but praised the other big decision of the Modi Government — the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Speaking to SOM over phone this morning, Gita’s father T.V. Gopinath, who is attending a seminar in Jaipur, Rajasthan, said that he was happy on his daughter’s elevation as Chief Economist of IMF and making Mysuru proud by her achievements. He said that he and his family members were excited when IMF Managing Director telephoned and informed her selection a week ago.

Gita Gopinath is now a US citizen and holds an Overseas Citizenship of India card.

Star of Mysore had featured Gita Gopinath under its column ‘Mysureans Making Us Proud…’ in its issue dated Dec.28, 2013. The same will be reproduced tomorrow.

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