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Gita Gopinath takes over as IMF chief economist

IANS  |  United Nations 

Eminent academic and former to the government, has taken over as the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) in a time of global financial uncertainty.

In a sign of growing women power, she joins a group of four women who will dominate the global economic sphere -- her boss and IMF's Christine Lagarde, World Bank's Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, and Kristalina Georgieva, the Bank's who will become its next month.

They confront the confluence of a retreat from globalisation, a trade war between and the US, uncertainties in over Brexit, weakening of several currencies against the dollar and the growing inequalities between nations and within countries.

When Lagarde announced in October Gopinath's appointment with formal title of Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department, she called her "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. I am delighted to name such a talented figure as our Chief Economist," Lagarde said.

Before coming to the IMF, where she succeeded Maurice Obstfeld, Gopinath was the at

She was concurrently appointed in 2016 as the to Chief Minister with the rank of

She has also served as a member of the on Matters for the Indian

In addition to helping formulate policies for the IMF and set strategies and evaluate performance of nations, she will oversee the World Economic Outlook Report that is considered a major survey of the global

A significant aspect of her position will be helping set the conditions for countries seeking bailouts from the IMF. Often the terms call for stringent financial regulations and unpopular belt-tightening for the recipients.

A graduate of in New Delhi, Gopinath received her MA degree from the

She went on to from where she got her Ph.D in economics in 2001 for her work on international macroeconomics and trade.

Gopinath was an at before moving to Harvard in 2005. 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 was a Young Global Leader in 2011.

Her extensive research and writings include a critique of Narendra Modi's demonetisation in 2016.

Writing in the Project Syndicate within days of the demonetisation, she presciently said the government "seems to be causing collateral damage to India's "

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First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 15:56 IST