Indian-born Gita Gopinath is the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A technocrat and author of several books, she has written research articles on emerging market, trade and investment, stock market and international financial crises. Gopinath is also a professor of economics at Harvard University.
Gita Gopinath's career
In 2001, Gopinath joined the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business as an assistant professor. After nine years, she moved to Harvard and was appointed as a tenured professor.
Currently, she serves as an advisory member at the US Federal Reserve Bank and a co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics programme of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Previously, she had been an economic advisor to the chief minister of Kerala.
Gita Gopinath is John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics at Harvard University. When in India, she also served as a member of the Eminent Persons Advisory Group on G-20 Matters for the Union finance ministry. In October 2018, Gopinath was appointed chief economist of the International Monetary Fund.
Gopinath got her school education in Mysore and went on to get a BA degree from Lady Shri Ram College for Women of the Delhi University (DU) in 1992. Gopinath considered doing an MBA but later changed the plan and got enrolled to the Delhi School of Economics. In 2001, she joined the University of Washington, Seattle, for a five-year PhD programme. Her professor recommended her to Harvard and Princeton, stating she was the best student they had had in 20 years. She completed her PhD from Princeton University in 2001. Gita was placed under the guidance of eminent economists like Kenneth Rogoff and former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.
Honours and accolades
In 2011, Gopinath was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF). She was named one of the top 25 economists under 45 by IMF in 2014. In 2017, she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Washington. At the age of 47, Gita Gopinath was appointed Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department by MD Christine Lagarde. That year, she was also elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society. In 2019, Foreign Policy named her one of the Top Global Thinkers of the year. The Indian government awarded her the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians. She was awarded the Princeton's Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Research Award while doing her doctoral research at Princeton.
Gita Gopinath's personal life
Born in a middle-class Indian family on December 8, 1971, in Kolkata, Gita Gopinath is now a US citizen. Her parents — T V Gopinath and V C Vijayalakshmi — are from Kerala. Gita is married to Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal, who works with Massachusetts Institute of Technology as executive director of the Poverty Action Lab. Iqbal, who was her classmate at Delhi School of Economics, began his career after topping the civil services examination in 1995 and becoming an IAS officer.
Gopinath's research and published work
Gopinath’s research focuses on international finance and macroeconomics. Her work has been published in top economic journals. She has authored numerous research articles on exchange rates, trade and investment, international financial crises, monetary policy, debt, and emerging market crises. She is co-editor at the American Economic Review, co-editor of the 2019 edition of the Handbook of International Economics, and was previously the managing editor of the Review of Economic Studies.