Born during the Bangladesh war in 1971 in West Bengal, Gita Gopinath has been the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund since 2019.
Her parents, TV Gopinath and VC Vijayalakshmi hail from Kerala’s Kannur but Gita lived most of her life in Mysuru, Karnataka, where she arrived 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. She completed her schooling from this institution.
Her father is a farmer while mother is an entrepreneur who used to run a playhouse in Mysuru. Once Gita finished her schooling, she went to study BA at Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College. Later, shepursued MA in Economics from Delhi School of Economics. Both the colleges belong to University of Delhi. Not only this, Gita holds an MA degree from University of Washington as well. After she earned 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.
In 2005, she joined Harvard University where she is the John Zwaanstra Professor International Studies and of 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 of 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.
Between 2016-2018, Gita was the Economic Adviser to the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan.
Gita is a US citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India. In 2019, she received Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, an award given by the government of India to Indians living abroad and having a meritorious 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.