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IMF officially process to find new managing director

The IMF said it hopes to conclude the process by the end of April
The IMF said it hopes to conclude the process by the end of April - Copyright AFP Stefani Reynolds
The IMF said it hopes to conclude the process by the end of April - Copyright AFP Stefani Reynolds

The International Monetary Fund officially launched the selection process to find the organization next leader on Wednesday, with current managing director Kristalina Georgieva widely tipped for a second five-year term.

Georgieva, 70, has run the Washington-based financial institution since 2019, and indicated last week that she would be “honored” to helm the organization once more after her current term expires in September — if she is renominated by member states.

“The Executive Board has adopted an open, merit-based, and transparent process for the selection of the next Managing Director,” the IMF executive board coordinators Afonso Bevilaqua and Abdullah BinZarah said in a statement. 

“The Board intends to complete the process by end-April 2024,” they added. 

Under a controversial, decades-old agreement between Europe and the United States, the International Monetary Fund has historically been led by a European, and the World Bank by a US citizen. 

This unwritten arrangement was reaffirmed last year when the Biden administration nominated Ajay Banga, an Indian-born, naturalized US citizen, to run the World Bank, which sits just across the street from the IMF in Washington.

Prior to her comments last week, speculation had swirled about whether Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist, might run again once her current expires on September 30. 

Georgieva has received backing from key European allies in recent weeks, and on Tuesday, EU finance ministers agreed to back her for a second term.  

“I’m very happy to announce that all European member states actually expressed that support for Kristalina,” Belgium Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem said after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.

He pointed to the “trust” that the European Union had in Georgieva, adding: “Kristalina showed strong leadership the last couple of years especially during unprecedented crises and… she also provided support to all the members.”

The move sharply reduces the chances of success for other individuals whose names have appeared in connection with the role in recent months, such as Paschal Donohoe, Ireland’s minister for public expenditure. 

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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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