IMF’s head names Antoinette Sayeh as deputy managing director

The appointment of Ms Sayeh, a World Bank veteran, is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board

FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., as IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde meets with Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
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The International Monetary Fund’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva has proposed the appointment of Antoinette Sayeh – a World Bank veteran - as a deputy from March 16, 2020, the fund said in a statement.

The appointment is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board.

“We are welcoming back a dear friend and member of the IMF family,” said Ms Georgieva. “Antoinette is very well known and highly respected, having served as Director of the African Department between 2008 and 2016 where she led a major transformation of the Fund’s relationship with our African member countries.”

The appointment is among the first change that Ms Georgieva makes to the leadership team since she became the IMF head last year. Ms Sayeh replaces David Lipton.

Ms Sayeh, a Liberian national, has served as a Minister of Finance in post-conflict Liberia from January 2006 until June 2008 during which time she led the country through the clearance of its long-standing multilateral debt arrears.

Prior to that, she worked for the World Bank Group for 17 years, holding various senior positions.

Ms Sayeh has also been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Global Development and was the external co- chair for the recently concluded 19th Replenishment of the World Bank Group’s International Development Association.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree with honours in economics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a PhD in International Economic Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

The latest appointment also makes the fund’s top management more gender inclusive. Christine Lagarde became the fund’s first female managing director when she was appointed to the post in 2011. She was succeeded last year by Ms Georgieva.