French-born economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas has been appointed the new Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Gourinchas will succeed the outgoing chief economist Gita Gopinath who held the position since 2019. Gopinath, who is also the first woman to hold the position, is set to become IMF’s first woman Deputy Managing Director on January 21. Gourinchas will join IMF on a part-time basis from January 24 and transition into a full-time position from April 1. Till that time, Gourinchas will conclude his prior teaching commitments at UC Berkeley.
A French national, Gourinchas is a graduate in Physics from the Ecole Polytechnique and holds a master’s degree in Economics from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Gourinchas also holds an engineering MA from the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. After completing his master’s in France, he moved to the US in 1996 to pursue his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He later began teaching at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Princeton University from 1998 and continued it till 2003. Thereafter, he joined the Economics department of the University of California at Berkeley as an assistant professor and has been associated with the varsity for close to 15 years.
Presently, Gourinchas is the faculty director of UC Berkeley’s Clausen Centre for International Business.
While working as faculty at the University of California, Gourinchas also started working as a visiting scholar at the IMF in 2009 and became editor of the fund’s premier research journal, the IMF Economic Review. Gourinchas is credited for increasing the reach of the magazine among a wider base of economic community and policymakers. He was associated with the IMF in this role till 2016.
Gourinchas, meanwhile, also served as the associate editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association, co-editor of the American Economic Review journal, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fondation Banque de France.
From 2012 to 2013, Gourinchas worked with the French Prime Minister as part of the council of economic advisors.
In his long career as an economist, Gourinchas was honoured with many awards and recognition that include the Bernacer Prize for the Best European Economist under 40 working in the field of macroeconomics and finance in 2007.