European Union Nominates Kristalina Georgieva to Lead I.M.F.

The European Union on Friday nominated Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist, to replace Christine Lagarde as managing director of the International Monetary Fund after a tense selection process.

European countries had struggled to reach a consensus on who would fill the post, one of the most prominent in global economic diplomacy. After multiple rounds of voting, Ms. Georgieva, the chief executive of the World Bank, emerged victorious.

“It is an honor to be nominated as a candidate for the role of Managing Director of the IMF,” Ms. Georgieva, who is relinquishing her World Bank responsibilities, wrote on Twitter.

Ms. Georgieva won out over Jeroen Dijsselbloem, a former Dutch finance minister. Britain abstained from voting to protest a process that it believed was being mismanaged. The selection is a victory for France, which had been lobbying for Ms. Georgieva since Ms. Lagarde, who is French, was tapped last month to become president of the European Central Bank.

“Ms. Georgieva has all the skills needed as well as the experience and international credibility to succeed Christine Lagarde and to lead the I.M.F. successfully,” Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said in a statement.

Other countries have until Sept. 6 to offer alternatives. The fund would have to alter its bylaws, which prohibit a managing director from being older than 65, to accommodate Ms. Georgieva, who turned 65 this year.

The support of the United States also remains an open question. There had been speculation that President Trump might nominate an American for the role.

In an interview with Reuters last month, Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary, said it was not an “absolute given” that a European would lead the I.M.F. A Treasury spokesman had no comment on Friday.

Countries in Europe showed no resistance this year when Mr. Trump selected David Malpass, a former Treasury Department official, to head the World Bank.

On Friday, Mr. Malpass, who remains close with Trump administration officials, congratulated Ms. Georgieva.

“Your strong leadership and financial expertise will add value to any institution,” he said on Twitter. “Looking forward to continuing our collaboration to seek strong growth policies and greater prosperity worldwide.”

The I.M.F. monitors the global economy and financial system and provides loans to countries that are struggling to meet their debt obligations. If her nomination is successful, Ms. Georgieva will have a swath of global economic challenges to confront. Trade tensions between the United States and China have become a drag on global growth, while Argentina, Turkey and Venezuela are all dealing with economic woes.

“Having worked in the World Bank, rather than coming out of a national government, she undoubtedly already has the perspective of a person who understands the need to represent the interests of the world and its shareholders, not just a region,” said Mark Sobel, a former senior Treasury official and now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Ms. Georgieva previously served on the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she also taught.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*