Berkeley professor Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas appointed as IMF chief economist

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Monday announced her intention to appoint Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, as the institution's chief economist.

Gourinchas, who joined the UC Berkeley in 2003, is currently the faculty director of the Clausen Center for International Business & Policy. He was also assistant professor of economics at the Princeton University and the Stanford University.

Gourinchas is also program director of International Finance and Macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a non-profit, non-partisan U.S. organization. From 2012 to 2013, he was a member of the French Council of Economic Advisors to the Prime Minister.

From 2009 to 2016, Gourinchas was IMF visiting scholar and the editor-in-chief of the IMF Economic Review, the Fund's premier research journal, according to the multilateral lender.

"I am very pleased to announce that Pierre-Olivier will join us as the Fund's next Chief Economist," Georgieva said in a statement, describing the French economist as an outstanding macroeconomic scholar and practitioner with "his finger on the pulse of global economic issues."

"He 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," Georgieva continued.

Gourinchas will begin his work as the IMF's new chief economist on Jan. 24, "initially on a part-time basis" as he concludes some prior teaching commitments, transitioning to full-time on April 1, 2022, according to the statement.

Gourinchas will succeed Gita Gopinath as the Fund's economic counsellor and director of the Research Department.

Gopinath, who joined the IMF as chief economist in early 2019, said in October last year that she had planned to return to Harvard University in January 2022.

In early December, however, Georgieva unexpectedly announced that Gopinath is set to succeed Geoffrey Okamoto as the institution's first deputy managing director.