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Ilan Goldfajn, the International Monetary Fund's appointee for director of the Western Hemisphere Department (Photo: Buenos Aires Times)

IMF managing director appoints Ilan Goldfajn as head of the Western Hemisphere Department

Ilan Goldfajn, the International Monetary Fund's appointee for director of the Western Hemisphere Department (Photo: Buenos Aires Times)

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva on Monday announced  the appointment of Ilan Goldfajn as director of the fund’s Western Hemisphere Department (WHD). 

Goldfajn’s appointment will take effect on January 3, 2022. The former governor of the Banco Central do Brazil (BCB) — May 2016 tol February 2019 — will assume the headship of the IMF’s department with responsibility for member countries in the Americas, succeed Alejandro Werner, whose retirement was previously announced for August 31, 2021,

Alejandro Werner, former director for the International Monetary Fund’s Western Hemisphere Department, will retire from the position on August 31,2021. (File photo)

“I am delighted that Ilan will join our team as the new WHD Director. He has an impressive experience in the public and private sectors and is highly respected as an academic. His proven track record as a policymaker, communicator, as well as his depth of knowledge as an international finance executive and his familiarity with the Fund’s work will be invaluable in helping our member countries in the region,” a release from the IMF quotes Georgieva.

During his tenure at the BCB, Goldfajn oversaw the implementation of significant regulatory changes that opened the door to new players in the financial services industry, spurred innovation and digitalisation, and fostered the growth of fintech companies that has had a positive impact on Brazil’s financial sector. In 2017, he was elected Central Banker of the Year by The Banker magazine; and the year after, he was 

Goldfajn’s experience in the private sector include positions as Chief Economist and Partner of Itaú Unibanco, founding Partner of Ciano Investimentos, and partner and economist at Gávea Investimentos — three leading financial institutions in Brazil. More recently he was the Chairman of Credit Suisse Brazil’s Advisory Board. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant to a number of global financial organisations including the World Bank and the IMF.

GEORGIEVA… [Goldfajn] has an impressive experience in the public and private sectors and is highly respected as an academic. His proven track record as a policymaker, communicator, as well as his depth of knowledge as an international finance executive. (File photo)

He has taught economics at various universities in Brazil and the United States. He has worked as an editor of various publications, as well as written and published numerous articles and books. Goldfajn holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a master’s degree in economics from the Pontifíca Universidade Católica, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universidade Federal — the last two located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A dual national of Brazil and Israel, Goldfajn is very well known to many at the IMF. He has worked as an economist at the fund from 1996 to 1999.

 “I am very pleased that Ilan is returning to us at this crucial time, and that we will be able to benefit from his exceptional expertise as we continue to help the countries in the region build more resilient and inclusive economies,” the IMF managing director concluded.