Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Businessweek
Bloomberg 50

Kristalina Georgieva, a Helping Hand at the IMF

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the fund has increased lending to member nations by 50%, to $270 billion.

Georgieva

Georgieva

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist with a doctorate from the country’s Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economics (now the University of National and World Economy), is the first IMF chief from an emerging market. Through grants, the fund has helped 29 of the poorest member nations cover their IMF loan payments, and Georgieva is raising money from rich nations for more relief. In March she scored a victory when the U.S. Congress agreed to an expansion of the IMF’s lending capacity (though in April, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin blocked her plan to bolster members’ access to currency reserves).

This year, Georgieva has hired two female department heads to replace men, raising the women’s share to 40%—eight of 20. The IMF has also started a YouTube channel with videos on topics such as how to compile macroeconomic statistics, improve central bank law, and use fintech to contribute to financial inclusion.