Ms Gopinath, 47, succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department. Mr Obstfeld retired on December 31.
"One of the world's outstanding economists with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership and extensive international experience." Said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, described her while announcing her appointment on October 1.
Gita described her appointment at the IMF as a "tremendous honour" and said the appointment of the first ever woman for this position speaks highly of IMF's Managing Director Lagarde.
Gopinath was born in Mysore. She did her schooling in Nirmala Convent School in Mysore. She is the younger of two daughters of TV Gopinath and VC Vijayalakshmi, both of whom hail from Kannur, Kerala.
Gita Gopinath is the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics at Harvard University. She is co-director of the International Finance and Macroeconomics program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a member of the economic advisory panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Economic Adviser to the Chief Minister of Kerala.
Her honours include, in 2018, she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Washington. She was named one of the top 25 economists under 45 by the International Monetary Fund in 2014 and was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.