Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday named Antoinette Sayeh as a Deputy Managing Director, effective March 16, 2020. The appointment is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board.
“We are welcoming back a dear friend and member of the IMF family. Antoinette is very well known and highly respected, having served as Director of the African Department between 2008 and 2016 where she led a major transformation of the Fund’s relationship with our African member countries,” Ms. Georgieva wrote in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC
“Antoinette demonstrates a rare combination of institutional leadership, deep analytical capacity, and an unwavering commitment to fairness. I have always been impressed by her genuine care for the well-being of the people we serve and her ability to place them front and center in our efforts. I personally have known and worked with her for many years in a wide range of positions that she has held. I look forward to working closely with her again as she joins the management team.”
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IMF said since 2016 Ms. Sayeh, a Liberian national, has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) and was also the external Co-Chair for the recently concluded 19th Replenishment of the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA19).
As Minister of Finance in post-conflict Liberia from January 2006 through June 2008, Ms. Sayeh led the country through the clearance of its long-standing multilateral debt arrears. Before joining President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Cabinet, she worked for the World Bank Group for 17 years, holding various senior positions. Prior to that, Ms. Sayeh worked in Liberia’s Ministries of Finance and Planning.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree with honors in economics from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a PhD in International Economic Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Sayeh would serve as one of four deputy managing directors under Georgieva but would not replace David Lipton, the American who is leaving the Fund as first deputy managing director. Georgieva did define what her portfolio would be.
The first deputy managing director holds the Fund’s No. 2 role with strong influence over policies, and is typically an American while the managing director is usually from Europe. The United States is the largest shareholder in the IMF with 16.5 percent of the Fund’s voting power.
Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist who took over as managing director of the IMF in October announced recently that Lipton and Carla Grasso, a deputy managing director who is the IMF’s chief administrative officer, would be leaving at the end of February.