Press Release – IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva Appoints Catriona Purfield as Director of Human Resources

July 30, 2021

Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced today her intention to appoint Catriona Purfield as Director of the Fund’s Human Resources Department. Ms. Purfield, who is currently Deputy Director of the IMF’s African Department, will succeed Kalpana Kochhar, whose retirement was recently announced. She is expected to take up her position on August 16, 2021.

Ms. Purfield, an Irish national, started her career at the Fund in 1998 when she joined the Economist Program after completing her PhD in Economics from Trinity College in Dublin. Over the past 23 years, Catriona has worked in multiple departments at the Fund—including the African, Asia & Pacific, Fiscal Affairs, European and Middle East & Central Asia Departments—taking on increased leadership responsibilities. As part of her varied country work, she oversaw the production of a series of highly insightful regional economic outlook reports and contributed significantly to the development of AFR’s pandemic response, as well as to fiscal, financial, exchange rate and structural reform policies. She has also guided our analytical work on arrears, competition policy, governance, and newer topics like gender and digitalization.

“Catriona has vast knowledge of the Fund and in-depth experience of HR issues,” Ms. Georgieva said. “Most recently, as Deputy Director in the African Department, she had oversight over the department’s personnel matters. In that capacity, she successfully guided and supported departmental staff, both at headquarters and in the field, as they faced the extraordinary challenges and work pressures created by the pandemic during these last eighteen months. Catriona also gained extensive personnel management experience as Advisor and Senior Personnel Manager in the European Department, helping to reorganize its resources to assist in the Fund’s response to the Global Financial Crisis.”

Ms. Purfield broadened her professional experience through a three-year stint, starting in 2013, at the World Bank’s Office in Pretoria, South Africa, where she was Program Lead on Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions for Southern Africa. She returned to the IMF in 2016 as Assistant Director in the Middle East & Central Asia Department, leading the Fund’s engagement on Iran and advancing the department’s inclusive growth agenda in the region.

“Throughout her Fund career, Catriona has demonstrated strong leadership and an open and fair approach when engaging with colleagues and counterparts inside and outside the Fund,” Ms. Georgieva said. “She is widely respected for her intellectual leadership, problem-solving skills, and care for all staff. I am very confident that her deep talents and experience will benefit the Human Resources Department and all of us at the Fund.”

IMF Communications Department

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