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From Mysuru to IMF: All about Mysuru's own Gita Gopinath

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Many Mysurian know about Gita Gopinath - an Indian American economist who has been the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund since 2019. She is the Director of IMF's Research Department and the Economic Counsellor of the Fund. But a very few only knew about her Mysuru connection.

Born to her parents TV Gopinath and VC Vijayalakshmi, Gita lived most of her life in Mysuru (Mysore). Her parents hail from Kerala's Kannur, and they shifted to Mysuru in 1980 as a nine-year-old with her parents. Gita has an elder sister named Anita. Gita was enrolled in class four at Mysuru's Nirmala Convent School and completed her schooling here.

Gita’s parents Gopinath and Vijayalakshmi at their residence in Mysuru

Her father is an agriculturist while the mother is an entrepreneur who runs a playhouse in Mysuru. Gita has an elder sister named Anita. Once Gita finished her schooling, she went to study BA at Delhi's Lady Shri Ram College. Gita Gopinath completed her pre-university at Mahajana's College. Her sister Anita did her engineering at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering. Later, she pursued an MA in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics. Both the colleges belong to the University of Delhi. Not only this, Gita holds an MA degree from the University of Washington as well. After earning a PhD in Economics from Princeton University, Gita started her career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Anita lives in Delhi, and is a successful professional working with a garment export company.

In 2005, she joined Harvard University where she is the John Zwaanstra Professor International Studies and Economics. Currently, Gita is on 'leave of public service' from the university to serve at the IMF. There are several achievements attached to Gita's name. She was a member of the economic advisory panel at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and co-director at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) of the International Finance and Macroeconomics program.

Gita Gopinath with her husband, Iqbal, and son Rohil.

Between 2016-2018, Gita was the Economic Adviser to Kerala's Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan.

Gita is a US citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India. In 2019, she received Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, an award given by India government to Indians living abroad and having a commendable contribution in their chosen field. The 49-year-old economist is married to Iqbal Singh Dhaliwal, who is the Global Executive Director of J-PAL. Gita and Iqbal have a son together named Rohil.

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