IMF appoints top academic as chief economist

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas will succeed Gita Gopinath later this month

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas is currently the faculty director of the Clausen Centre for International Business and Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Bloomberg

The International Monetary Fund has appointed top academic Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas as chief economist, succeeding Gita Gopinath.

Mr Gourinchas, who is currently the faculty director of the Clausen Centre for International Business and Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, starts his new position on January 24 on a part-time basis.

He will transition to full time on April 1, the Washington-based fund said on Monday.

Mr Gourinchas “brings a stellar track record of scholarship and intellectual leadership in macroeconomic areas critical to our work – from global imbalances and capital flows to the stability of the international monetary and financial system, and more recently, to economic policies for the pandemic era”, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said.

The appointment comes as the world continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the recent surge in the number of infections caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The global economy is forecast to grow 4.9 per cent this year, the IMF said in October.

“Under his leadership, we can look forward to building on the fund’s well-earned reputation for excellence in macroeconomics and research in service to our global membership,” Ms Georgieva said.

Mr Gourinchas, a French citizen, was also an assistant professor of economics at Princeton University from 1998 to 2003. Before that, he was an assistant professor of economics at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

He has also worked as an editor in chief at the IMF Economic Review, the fund’s premier research journal.

Last month, the IMF picked Ms Gopinath to become the fund’s second-highest ranking official. She takes over from departing first deputy managing director Geoffrey Okamoto later in January.

Updated: January 11th 2022, 6:46 AM