WASHINTON: IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath will leave her post and return to Harvard University’s economics department in January, the fund announced Wednesday.
Harvard extended Gopinath’s leave of absence by one year, which allowed her to serve at the IMF for three years, the statement said.
She heads the International Monetary Fund’s research department which produces the quarterly World Economic Outlook report with its closely watched GDP growth forecasts.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva praised Gopinath, who “made history” as the first woman to serve in the top economics post, for her critical analysis during the pandemic.
“Gita’s contribution to the Fund and our membership has been truly remarkable — quite simply, her impact on the IMF’s work has been tremendous,” Georgieva said in a statement.
“We benefitted immensely from her sharp intellect and deep knowledge of international finance and macroeconomics as we navigate through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
She had a key role in setting global vaccination targets to end the Covid-19 pandemic, and also helped set up a Climate Change team inside the IMF to analyze, among other things, optimal climate mitigation policies, Georgieva said.
Gopinath, a dual US-Indian citizen, was appointed to her role in October 2018.
The IMF said the search for a replacement will begin shortly.