On September 25, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director and Chair of the Executive Board for a five-year term starting on October 1, 2019. Ms. Georgieva, who succeeds Christine Lagarde, is the first person from an emerging market economy to lead the IMF since its inception in 1944.
“For me, a huge honor to stand in front of you as the next Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. I want to thank the Fund’s shareholders and the Executive Board for the trust they have just placed in me. I’m very fortunate to have and Christine Lagarde as my predecessor,” Ms. Georgieva told the press in Washington today.
She cited the current global economic challenges awaiting her as new IMF chief.
“I assume my position fully aware of the challenges we face. Global economic growth continues to disappoint, trade tensions persist and debt burdens are rising in many countries. As we will soon discuss at the Annual Meetings, warning signals are flashing and we must be ready to be tested.”
She highlighted her immediate and longer-term priorities she would be tackling in her new position.
“My immediate priority is for the IMF to help members minimize the risk of crises and be ready to cope with downturns should they occur. Yet, we should not lose sight of our long-term objective to b uild stronger economies and improve people’s lives on the foundation of sound monetary, fiscal, and structural policies. This means also dealing with issues like inequalities, climate, rapid technological change.”
The selection of Ms. Georgieva by the 24-member Executive Board representing the IMF’s 189 member countries brings to a conclusion the selection process initiated by the Executive Board on July 26, 2019 (see Press Release No. 19/302). Following interviews with Ms. Georgieva, Executive Directors selected her for the position, effective October 1.
The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. The Managing Director is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in the operation of the Fund, which serves its membership through about 2,700 staff.
Ms. Georgieva, a national of Bulgaria, has been the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank since January 2017. From February 1, 2019 to April 8, 2019, she was the Interim President for the World Bank Group. Starting in 2010, she was at the European Commission, serving as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, then as Vice President for Budget and Human Resources. Ms. Georgieva has a Ph.D. in Economic Science and a M.A. in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria, where she also taught from 1977 to 1991.