Obama adviser Obstfeld named IMF chief economist

21 Jul 15

Maurice Obstfeld, an economic adviser to US President Barack Obama, has been appointed as the International Monetary Fund’s new chief economist and director of research.

Obstfeld will replace Olivier Blanchard as economic counsellor in early September. Blanchard’s retirement was announced in May.

Announcing Obstfeld’s appointment, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said: “I am thrilled to have Maurice join us at the fund. His outstanding academic credentials and extensive international experience make him exceptionally well placed to provide intellectual leadership to the IMF at this important juncture.

“He is known around the globe for his work on international economics and is considered one of the most influential macroeconomists in the world.”

Obstfeld is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley and has experience advising governments and central banks around the work. He is currently on leave from Berkeley and serving as a member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

He is co-author of the textbooks Foundations of International Macroeconomics with Kenneth Rogoff and of International Economics with Paul Krugman and Marc Melitz.

Between 2002 and 2014, Obstfeld served as an honorary advisor to the Bank of Japan’s Institute of Monetary and Economic Studies. He is also a fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served both on the Executive Committee and as vice president of the American Economic Association.

Lagarde added: “The position of economic counsellor is of fundamental importance to the IMF’s ability to provide its global membership with the best possible independent analysis and policy advice. I am confident that we have found an exceptional candidate in Maurice to take this work forward.”

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