The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Kristalina Georgieva as its chair and managing director.
According to a statement released on Wednesday, the Bulgarian will start her five-year tenure as IMF MD on October 1, 2019.
She is the first person from an emerging market economy to lead the Bretton Wood institution since its inception in 1944.
Georgieva joined the World Bank in 1993 and rose through the ranks to become the chief executive officer of World Bank in January 2017.
From February 1, 2019, when Jim Yong Kim, former World Bank president, stepped down and David Malpass was appointed as his replacement, Georgieva held forte as interim president.
Commenting on her appointment, she said: “I am deeply honoured 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.”
In 2010, she was at the European Commission, serving as commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response, then as vice president for budget and human resources.
Georgieva has a PhD in Economic Science and an M.A. in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria, where she also taught from 1977 to 1991.