Kristalina Georgieva Announced as International Monetary Fund's New Managing Director

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Sep 26, 2019
by Oscar Tollast
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Kristalina Georgieva Announced as International Monetary Fund's New Managing Director

Salzburg Global Fellow to begin new role on October 1, 2019 Kristalina Georgieva in Washington, D.C. for the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has appointed Salzburg Global Fellow Kristalina Georgieva as its new managing director and chair of the executive board.

On September 25, the IMF confirmed Georgieva would serve a five-year term starting on October 1, 2019. She succeeds Christine Lagarde and becomes the first person from an emerging market economy to lead the IMF.

In a statement, Georgieva said, "I am deeply honored to have been selected as managing director of the IMF and grateful for the trust that the Fund's global membership and the executive board have placed in me. I want to pay tribute to my predecessor, Christine Lagarde, a great leader and a dear friend, whose vision and tireless work have contributed so much to the continued success of the Fund.

"The IMF is a unique institution with a great history and a world-class staff. I come as a firm believer in its mandate to help ensure the stability of the global economic and financial system through international cooperation. Indeed, in my view, the Fund's role has never been more important.

"It is a huge responsibility to be at the helm of the IMF at a time when global economic growth continues to disappoint, trade tensions persist, and debt is at historically high levels. As I noted in my statement to the executive board, our immediate priority is to help countries minimize the risk of crises and be ready to cope with downturns. Yet, we should not lose sight of our long-term objective – to support sound monetary, fiscal and structural policies to build stronger economies and improve people's lives. This means also dealing with issues like inequalities, climate risks and rapid technological change.

"For our readiness to act, safeguarding the Fund's financial strength is essential, and so are enhancing its surveillance and capacity development efforts. Working with my team, my goal is to further strengthen the Fund by making it even more forward-looking and attentive to the needs of our members.

"I look forward to working with all our 189-member countries, the executive board and staff, and with all our partners in the years ahead."

Georgieva previously served as CEO of the World Bank from January 2017 to September 2019. During this time, she also served as interim president of the World Bank Group for three months. She has also served as European Commission vice president for budget and human and resources. Before this role, she was commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response.

Arriving from Bulgaria, Georgieva first attended Salzburg Global Seminar in 1990 as a participant for Negotiation Theory and Practice: Environmental Disputes. She credited Salzburg Global for triggering a "huge change" in her professional life and said, "All in all, Salzburg defines who I am."

She came back to Salzburg in 2013 for the June Board of Directors Weekend. In February 2017, Georgieva was a guest speaker at the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program. During her talk, she told participants, "I hope we do not have to learn in the hardest way possible that we are in this world together."

Watch Kristalina Georgieva's Salzburg Global Profile*

*This profile was posted in October 2013.