After tapping IMF chief Christine Lagarde to head the European Central Bank, the EU has put forward another powerful woman’s name to take the reigns at the International Monetary Fund with the official nomination of Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva.
Georgieva beat out Jeroen Dijsselbloem, a former Dutch finance minister whose candidacy had the backing of both the governments of Germany and the Netherlands. Her nomination is a major victory for France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who had spent a great deal of political capital lobbying on her behalf. The French government had been vocal about pushing the EU to nominate a candidate that was to their liking after having the French-born Largarde head the Washington-based IMF since 2011.
A noted economist who did her post-graduate research and studies in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1980s, the 65-year-old Georgieva has been Chief Executive of the World Bank since 2017 and previously served as Acting President of the World Bank Group from February to April of this year.
Georgieva previously served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016.
She is now the favourite to become the next head of the IMF when the fund’s governing board votes on candidates in October as no other candidates from major economies have declared their candidacy.
If she succeeds in securing the position, Georgieva would join European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen and Lagarde as the third European woman to be in a top job on the world stage.
Under a convention with the US, a European leads the IMF while an American heads the Washington DC-based World Bank.