International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath is set to take over from Geoffrey Okamoto as the institution’s No. 2 official, the institution said Thursday, Dec 2. The move comes as a surprise because Gopinath, the first woman to serve as the IMF’s chief economist, had said in October she planned to rejoin Harvard University in January to retain her tenured facility post after three years of public service. The IMF said in a statement that “some realignment in the roles and responsibilities of the fund’s senior management team is being undertaken.”
By tradition, the first deputy managing director is nominated by the U.S. and appointed by the IMF managing director. The Treasury endorses this choice and is pleased the job responsibilities of this role are being restored, according to a person familiar with the department’s position who asked not to be identified.