Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz

Director, Statistics Department

Biographical Information

Ms. Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz became Director of the Statistics Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in fall 2008. She is responsible for the IMF's statistical activities to support the IMF mandates. The work involves producing cross-country data and providing strong leadership for the development of sound statistical practices in the IMF, in member countries, and in the international statistical community at large. In this endeavor, the Statistics Department plays a pivotal role in the development of internationally accepted and applied methodologies and standards, providing technical assistance and training to promote the adoption of these standards, and modeling best practices in the dissemination of economic and financial data.

Because the global crisis revealed vast gaps in international financial statistics, the G-20 asked the IMF and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) in spring 2009 to explore gaps, provide appropriate proposals to strengthen data collection, and to promote effective communication of official statistics, including the website www.principalglobalindicators.org. The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) endorsed the effort to support global financial stability.

From 2002 to 2008, Ms. Burgi-Schmelz was the Director General of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, managing a staff of 670 and a comprehensive publication program covering economic, socio-economic, and environmental statistics. Her accomplishments included the modernization of the population census based on harmonized population registers and leadership of the Swiss delegation to negotiate and implement the agreement between Switzerland and the European Union on statistical cooperation.

Ms. Burgi-Schmelz has extensive public and private sector experience. In the private sector, she has worked at high-level managerial positions with Ascom Corporation and with Schindler Corporation, both in Switzerland, and with Bell Communications Research (Telcordia) in the United States. Being both, a Swiss and German national, Ms. Burgi-Schmelz holds master and PhD degrees from the University of Bonn, Germany, in Classics/Latin and Mathematics; from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY, United States, in Operations Research and Statistics; and from the University of Berne, Switzerland, in Information Systems/Business Administration.