IMF Gets New Chief Economist

Simon Johnson, professor at MIT is named to the post.

Simon Johnson, a U.S. and British national and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was named the new chief economist for the IMF Feb. 28, managing director Rodrigo Rato said. Johhnson will replace Raghuram Rajan, who resigned to return to academia in January.

"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," Rato said. "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."

Johnson, 44, is a citizen of both the U.S. and Britain and currently holds the position of Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. Johnson holds a PhD in economics from MIT, with degrees received earlier from the universities of Manchester and Oxford. His academic background includes positions at Harvard and Duke in the United States.

Johnson has managed a research center in Russia and provided policy advice in a number of emerging market and developing countries, according to the IMF. He has also been an adviser to 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.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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