Prominent women world leaders voice support for embattled IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva

Georgieva released her own statement on Friday, denying any wrongdoing

Prominent women leaders around the world are voicing their support for the embattled managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva.

Their support follows an endorsement by several other prominent leaders, including professor Nicholas Stern, the Chair of the Grantham Research Institute, who served as Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank from 2000-2003.

Stern sent a letter to the Dean of the IMF Board Aleksei Mozhin on Sunday in support of managing director Kristalina Georgieva.

The new set of endorsements comes only tree days after Georgieva released her own statement on Friday, denying any wrongdoing, after the findings of an independent probe concluded that she helped boost China’s global ranking in a 2018 world economies report while she was World Bank head.

The future of Georgieva has been uncertain since an investigation into manipulation of an annual World Bank report found that the bank’s former chief executive directed staff to inflate China data. More specifically, Georgieva was called out by her previous employer, the World Bank, for allegedly applying pressure on staff to alter data to boost China’s position in a ranking economies.

The World Bank said in a review released in December that China’s position in the 2018 report (ease of doing business report), which was released in October 2017, should have been at number 85, seven places lower than number 78 which is where China ended up featuring.

But in her statement on Friday, Georgieva denied any wrongdoing, saying she remained professional and that the conclusions of the report are “wrong.”

“Out of respect for due process, I have refrained from addressing many of the questions that have been raised about the 2018 Doing Business report at the World Bank and will continue to do so until I meet with the board of directors at the International Monetary Fund. It is important, however, to at least elaborate for the public and for the sake of the staff of the IMF why I disagree with the investigative report’s conclusions with respect to my role in the Doing Business 2018 report,” the Bulgarian economist wrote in a statement,” she wrote. “Let me be clear: the conclusions are wrong. I did not pressure anyone to alter any reports. There was absolutely no quid pro quo related to funding for the World Bank of any kind. Reviewing the integrity of these reports was within my professional responsibilities at that time, and, unlike what has been reported, I followed all protocols for editing the report. The methodology used in the Doing Business report has been the subject of concerns over many years. Like others in the World Bank before and since, I fundamentally viewed my role as overseeing the protection of the integrity of the report’s methodology, not its technical implementation.”

The latest endorsement came from women CEOs and founders of organizations. The list included Laurence Tubiana, the CEO of the European Climate Foundation and Kate Hampton, the CEO of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation as well as Gunhild Stordalen, the founder and executive chair of Eat.

Below is what they saying:

Laurence TubianaCEO of the European Climate Foundation: Mainstreaming climate change in macroeconomic policies, winning new SDR allocation to benefit less developed countries and facilitate green transition, fighting for vaccine solidarity this is women leadership .@KGeorgieva leadership. #womenleaders

In my view the campaign of SDR emissions led by .@KGeorgieva to help less developed countries to alleviate the burden of debt and transition to more sustainable development is a model of global leadership. Not only talk about economic divide but act on it. #Womenleaders

Kate HamptonCEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation: I spent much of my 20s and early 30s campaigning against @IMFNews and @WorldBank for their nefarious impact on people, planet. @KGeorgieva is transforming role, voice of her institution as a champion of debt relief, SDRs, #ClimateAction, #VaccineEquity We need this leader 

Gunhild StordalenFounder & Executive Chair of EATThe world is in dire need of visionary, courageous leaders of the highest integrity. Leaders committed to tackling our greatest risks: climate change, pandemics, poverty. @kgeorgieva –IMF’s Managing Director—is such a leader.We need more strong women like her!#womenleaders

Gunhild StordalenFounder & Executive Chair of EATThe Africa Europe Women Leaders Network supports @KGeorgieva & greets her dynamic inspiring leadership at #IMF and her personal commitment to achieve an equal future. Her key role in unlocking additional #SDRs is crucial to support fragilised economies in our challenging times.

Halla TomasdottirCEO of the B Team: The world needs more #womenleaders who lead with #values and put people at the heart of their #leadership This is what @KGeorgieva is doing in facilitating a #greentransition and #VaccineEquity

Damilola OgunbiyiCEO of Sustainable Energy for All & Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for AllWe need leaders like @KGeorgieva who understand the need for ambitious #ClimateAction, the urgency for a sustainable recovery, and the moral obligation for us as a global community to ensure no one is left behind. #EndEnergyPoverty #HLDE2021 bit.ly/3lZMrk8

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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