IMF chief economist to step down

25 Jul 18

International Monetary Fund’s chief economist Maurice Obstfeld will retire in December after more than three years in the role.

Obstfeld joined the Washington-based fund in September 2015 as economic counsellor and director of the research department from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was chair of the department of economics.

Paying tribute to Obstfeld’s work, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said: “By bridging academic rigour with an ability to disentangle complex economic issues and make persuasive the case for needed policies, Maury has stepped up the fund’s contribution to the policy debate.

“Under Maury’s stewardship, the Fund’s economic research continued to set the standard in its field.”

She called Obstfeld an “outstanding colleague”, adding: “I have personally benefited from his deep intellect, wise counsel, and strategic insights, in a challenging time for international cooperation. I will greatly miss him, as I know others will too.”

He will return to the department of economics at Berkeley.

The son of refugees who immigrated to the US after the Second World War, Obstfeld received a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979.

The IMF said the search for his replacement would begin shortly.

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