Press Release: IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato Proposes Simon Johnson as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF's Research Department

February 28, 2007

Press Release No. 07/34

Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has notified the IMF Executive Board of his intention to appoint Professor Simon Johnson, a distinguished economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the position of Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at the IMF. He will succeed Mr. Raghuram Rajan, who resigned to return to academia in January 2007.

In making this announcement, Mr. de Rato said: "After careful consideration, I have concluded that Mr. Simon Johnson clearly stands out as possessing the right blend of knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to successfully lead the Fund's Research Department and to excel in the role of our chief economist.

"Simon Johnson is a recognized leader in original economic research relevant to the Fund, including the study of the causes and effects of economic crises, as well as development and poverty issues. He has a proven ability to conceptualize a strong policy-oriented agenda, with an enduring interest in global economic policy issues and a substantial level of expertise relevant to developing, emerging market, and advanced economies. He is a strategic thinker and has demonstrated managerial leadership. It is also important to note that he has the ability to communicate complex issues to policy makers and the general public."

Mr. Johnson, 44, a citizen of both the U.S. and U.K., is currently the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. He holds a PhD in Economics from MIT, having previously received degrees from the Universities of Manchester and Oxford. His academic background includes positions at Harvard and Duke universities. Mr. Johnson also has hands-on experience with management and policy issues, including running a research center in Russia and providing policy advice in a number of emerging market and developing countries. He has also served in an advisory capacity on a number of public sector bodies and think tanks in advanced economies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He held a two-year appointment as Assistant Director in the IMF's Research Department in 2004-2006.

The appointment to Economic Counsellor and Director of Research is expected to be effective in late March 2007.


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