Updated: March 6, 2021
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced on Friday that David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director (FDMD), would be leaving the Fund at the end of February in the context of changes she will be making to the leadership team. Mr. Lipton is the IMF’s longest-serving FDMD, a position he took up in September 2011.
His wide-ranging portfolio at the IMF covered strategy, policy development, multilateral and country surveillance, as well as lending programs. He led several major initiatives, including the Fund’s Early Warning Exercise—held twice a year at the Spring and Annual Meetings to highlight present and future challenges faced by policymakers; the External Balance Assessment Framework and the related External Sector Report, which assess countries’ external positions and exchange rates; and, new work on the integrated policy framework, which considers how policy tools work best jointly and aims at strengthening Fund surveillance and traction.
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Ms. Georgieva lauded Mr. Lipton for his “intellectual leadership and innovative insights” and said that he commands “wide respect across the IMF’s 189 member countries” as well as among IMF staff. She added:
“In his position as FDMD for the past nine years—indeed he is the IMF’s longest-serving FDMD—David has provided an invaluable service to the Fund’s membership and the global economy more broadly with his outstanding economic experience and expertise. The list of his achievements at the Fund is long. Put simply, David’s efforts to further enhance the rigor of the Fund’s analytical work and his ability to bring a policymaker’s perspective to the table are unsurpassed. I thank him for all that he has done for the Fund and the people we serve.”
Mr. Lipton said “Kristalina and I worked closely together while she was at the World Bank and I was pleased, while serving as Acting MD, and in the months since, to help facilitate her successful transition to the Fund. I believe in the work of the Fund. It has been an honor to work here, first for eight years at the start of my professional career in 1981 and then as FDMD since 2011. The Fund is an institution providing invaluable service to its members and the global economy writ large, and I am pleased to have served it for so long.”
Mr. Lipton, a U.S. national, began his career as a young economist at the IMF, and worked for eight years on economic stabilization issues in emerging market and poor countries. From 1989 to 1992, he teamed up with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, then at Harvard University, working as economic advisers to the governments of Russia, Poland and Slovenia during their transitions to capitalism.
He served at the U.S. Treasury Department from 1993 to 1998. As Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs—and before that as Assistant Secretary—he helped lead the Treasury’s response to the financial crisis in Asia and the effort to modernize the international financial architecture.
Previously, Mr. Lipton spent five years at Moore Capital Management and was a Managing Director at Citi, where he was Head of Global Country Risk Management. Before returning to the IMF in 2011, he was Special Assistant to the U.S. President, and served as Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Economic Council and National Security Council at the White House. He has also held positions at the Woodrow Wilson Center of Scholars and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The search for Mr. Lipton’s successor will start shortly.
Kristalina Georgieva also announced on Friday that Carla Grasso, Chief Administrative Officer and Deputy Managing Director (DMD), would be leaving the Fund at the end of February in the context of changes she will be making to the leadership team.
Ms. Grasso’s responsibilities included overseeing and coordinating the IMF’s budget, human resources, information technology, general services and internal audit functions. She also led the Fund’s capacity development work to strengthen member countries’ economic institutions and train their public officials.
Ms. Georgieva said that “I would like to thank Carla for all her patient, persistent, impactful efforts. She has made a pivotal contribution to improving the quality of the work environment for our staff—and the quality of service to our membership.” She added that “Carla’s tireless effort in support of strengthening our capacity development and securing a solid foundation for capacity development financing through her work with donors, was one of her signature achievements.”
Ms. Grasso said that “It was an honor to serve as a DMD at the Fund. I believe strongly in the mission of the IMF and I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to contribute across a broad range of business and IT transformation initiatives which I expect will benefit the institution and its 189 member countries in the years to come.”
Ms. Grasso, a dual national of Brazil and Italy, joined the IMF in February 2015. Before coming to the Fund, she was Vice President for Human Resources and Corporate Services at Vale S.A., one of the world’s largest mining companies. Previously, Ms. Grasso served as Secretary of the Brazilian Supplementary Social Security Office and held a number of other public positions in Brazil’s Ministries of Social Security, Finance, and Planning, as well as in the Office of the President of Brazil.
The search for Ms. Grasso’s successor will start shortly.