IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva names Trump-backed Geoffrey Okamoto as First Deputy Managing Director

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The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, on Thursday named President Donald Trump-backed Geoffrey Okamoto as First Deputy Managing Director, effective March 30, 2020. The appointment is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board.

“I have come to know Geoffrey from his time leading U.S. Treasury’s engagement with the IMF and the World Bank and representing the U.S. internationally. I value highly his knowledge, diplomacy, and the good judgment he brings to tackling difficult issues,”. Ms. Georgieva said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.

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“Geoffrey is not only highly respected by his counterparts in other governments, but also by U.S. Treasury staff for his teamwork, accessibility, and the organizational improvements he led—including successful efforts to promote more women to senior positions. I believe his fresh perspective and energy can help us strengthen our approach to some of these same important challenges at the Fund,” she added.

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“He played a key role in helping bolster and preserve the Fund’s lending envelope during the last two reviews of the IMF’s resources, leading most recently to a commitment from our shareholders to double the New Arrangements to Borrow and thus helping to ensure the Fund has sufficient resources to respond to the needs of its membership. Geoffrey believes strongly in the Fund’s mission and is committed to helping it serve its members.”

Mr. Okamoto currently serves as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Finance and Development, where he is charged with overseeing global financial markets; managing coordination with the G-7, G-20 and FSB; overseeing international monetary affairs; negotiating on regional and bilateral economic issues; and overseeing U.S. participation in international financial institutions.

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He previously served as the U.S. Treasury’s Acting Under Secretary for International Affairs and has led the Treasury Department’s negotiations on trade with China, resulting in a Phase I agreement signed in January 2020. He also negotiated successful replenishments to MDB concessional windows and the Global Environment Facility, as well as helping to establish the Women Entrepreneur’s Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

Mr. Okamoto said he was “deeply honored to be proposed for this position at the IMF”.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with the Fund and its staff and I hold them in the highest possible esteem. I look forward to building on my experience working with the IMF, as well as my work with colleagues at the G-7, G-20, the Financial Stability Board, the World Bank and other international financial institutions—and to help further strengthen cooperation between the Fund and all its member countries,” he added.

Prior to joining the U.S. Treasury Department, Mr. Okamoto worked in the U.S. Senate, where he served as the Majority Staff Director for the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions. He was also the Policy Director for the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade. Earlier in his career, he was a consultant with KPMG, advising financial institutions on risk management and internal controls.

Mr. Okamoto was the Chairman of the Board for Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, an Atlantik-Brücke Young Leader, a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations Congressional Study Group, and a guest lecturer at Georgetown on financial stability and international economics. He earned a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University with a concentration in banking, fiscal, and monetary affairs—where his academic adviser was Alice Rivlin, the founding Director of the Congressional Budget Office. He has a Bachelor of Science from California State Polytechnic University and he also studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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