Former Chilean Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdés, in Santiago.TWITTER (TWITTER)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced this Tuesday that the Chilean economist Rodrigo Valdés (56 years old, Santiago) will take over as director of the Department of the Western Hemisphere, responsible for 31 countries, including Canada, the United States, in addition to those of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Valdés will assume on May 1 in Washington the vacancy left by the Brazilian Ilan Goldfajn, who left the senior position at the IMF to preside over the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The "brilliant track record" of former Finance Minister Michelle Bachelet and her "deep knowledge" of international finance were key to choosing him in the midst of the complex economic landscape that the region is going through.
Until now a professor of Economics at the School of Government of the Catholic University of Chile, he served between 2009 and 2012 as deputy director in the Western Hemisphere and European Departments of the IMF.
To be appointed director of the department, he submitted his candidacy in a selection period that lasted two and a half months.
"He is remembered as a generous administrator and broad intellectual influence, as he helped countries weather the aftermath of the global financial crisis," IMF President Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement this morning.
The relationship with the member countries of the American continent comes at a time of crisis.
In the latest economic outlook update, the IMF assured that inflation and Russia's war in Ukraine will continue to slow down the region's progress.
It is expected that this year it will grow by 1.8% and in 2024, 2.1%.
Valdés, a former militant of the center-left Party for Democracy (PPD), is a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He served as president of the Chilean State Bank between 2014 and 2015, until he took over as Finance Minister in Bachelet's second term.
His arrival was then interpreted as a sign of moderation in a government with a marked reformist stamp and that of a respected interlocutor in the business world.
Two years later, and only three months before the presidential election, he submitted his resignation after the rejection of the controversial Dominga mine project.
“Rodrigo has significant experience in the public and private sectors and is highly respected for his leadership skills and academic qualifications.
His brilliant record as a policymaker, his remarkable analytical and communication skills, and his in-depth knowledge of international finance will be invaluable to our member countries at this critical juncture for the region and the global community,” Georgieva wrote.
The economist will be the second Chilean to hold the position of Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department.
Economist Nicolás Eyzaguirre served as such from 2008 to 2012. It was during this period that Valdés served as deputy director.
Eyzaguirre was the one who assumed the Treasury when Valdés left, a road that he had already led throughout the Ricardo Lagos government (2000-2006).
Another Chilean who has reached the leadership of the IMF is the economist Eduardo Aninat, who served as deputy director general of the international organization between 2000 and 2003.
Valdés will share the IMF offices in Washington with the former Finance Minister of Sebastián Piñera's government, Rodrigo Cerda, who is the current head of the international organization's public spending division.
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