Press Release: IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky Announces Departure

May 12, 2011

Press Release No. 11/173
May 12, 2011

Mr. John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), announced today that he will not seek a new term when his current term expires on August 31, 2011. He has agreed at the request of IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn to ensure continuity by remaining as a Special Advisor through the Group of 20 Summit to be held in November.

Managing Director Strauss-Kahn, who informed the Fund’s 24-member Executive Board of Mr. Lipsky’s intention, extended his deepest thanks for the role Mr. Lipsky has played in the context of the day-to-day operation of the IMF and in the development and implementation of country and institutional strategies and policies.

“I cannot let this moment pass without extending my appreciation to John for all he has done for the Fund, and for his advice and support to me,” the Managing Director stated. “From my first days at the Fund, John has been a sincere friend to me, as well as an exemplary colleague, a tireless thinker, an instigator of debate, an influential proponent of multilateralism and deeper financial surveillance, and an outstanding communicator to a broad range of external constituencies. I have greatly valued his remarkable commitment to the institution and his role as my deputy. We will all miss his wisdom, his collegiality and, not least, his perennial good humor.”

In announcing his departure, Mr. Lipsky stated, “I am grateful for my opportunities to serve at the Fund. I joined directly from graduate school in 1974 and left for the private sector after ten years of interesting and rewarding assignments. Twenty-two years later, I was honored to have the chance to return to help the institution face a new set of challenges. The Fund unquestionably is stronger and more effective today than ever before, thanks to the support of its global membership and of course to the dedication of its extraordinary and unique staff. In addition, I was fortunate to have served as First Deputy Managing Director with two very talented Managing Directors and a strong management team. I am confident that the institution is well positioned to handle the challenges that lie ahead. I look forward to maintaining strong relations with the IMF in the future.”

The Managing Director selects and appoints the First Deputy Managing Director and the two Deputy Managing Directors. The appointment requires approval of the Fund’s Executive Board and, in making the selection, the Managing Director consults with the Executive Board regarding the type of qualifications that, in the view of the Executive Board, a First Deputy Managing Director should possess.

This process is now underway, and the Managing Director notified the Board that a successor to Mr. Lipsky will be named in due course.

Mr. Lipsky was appointed to a five-year term on September 1, 2006.


John Lipsky, 64, a U.S. national, joined the IMF in September 2006 from JP Morgan Investment Bank, where he had served as Vice Chairman. Mr. Lipsky was widely known during his tenure for independent research on the principal forces shaping global financial markets and for extensive contacts with clients and senior policy makers globally. Prior to that, Mr. Lipsky served as JPMorgan's Chief Economist, and as Chase Manhattan Bank's Chief Economist and Director of Research. He served as Chief Economist of Salomon Brothers, Inc. from 1992 until 1997. From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Lipsky was based in London, where he directed Salomon Brothers European Research Group.

Before joining Salomon Brothers in 1984, he spent a decade at the IMF, where he worked on several program countries and served as the Fund's Resident Representative in Chile, between 1978-1980.

In 2000, he chaired a Financial Sector Review Group established by former IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler, to provide the IMF with an independent perspective on how the Fund should organize its financial sector and capital markets work (see News Brief No. 00/93). He was named in 2006 as First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF by Rodrigo de Rato, who was then Managing Director of the Fund, and continued serving under Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

Mr. Lipsky's professional activities include serving on the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and on the Advisory Board of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Mr. Lipsky is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Mr. Lipsky earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. Subsequently, he was awarded an M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.


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