Kristalina Georgieva is a Bulgarian economist and the current Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. At the time of her appointment, she was serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank. She has also served as the Acting President of the World Bank Group briefly in the early 2019 and was the Vice-President of the European Commission from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, she was the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Health Aid and Crisis Management in 2010-14. She worked as an associate professor in 1977-1993 and as an economist at the World Bank Group from 1993 to 2010 before beginning her political career. In 2010, she was named the 'Commissioner of the Year' and the 'European of the Year' by the influential 'European Voice' newspaper.
Childhood & Early Life
Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova was born on August 13, 1953, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her father was a civil engineer. She got an MA in Political Economy and Sociology from the Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economic, later renamed to the University of National and World Economy, in 1976.
In 1986, she completed her Ph.D. in Economic Sciences from the Karl Marx Higher Institute of Economic, writing a thesis on 'Environmental Protection Policy and Economic Growth in the USA'. She did post-graduate research in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics in the late 1980s and was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991.
Right after her college graduation, she became an Associate Professor at her college and served there until 1993, and also occasionally lectured at universities around the world. Much later, in 1997-98, she went through the Corporate Finance Certificate Program and the World Bank Executive Development Program at the Harvard Business School.
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In 1993, Kristalina Georgieva became an environmental economist for Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank Group and served in that position for four years. She then became the Sector Manager for the East Asia and Pacific Region,before eventually taking charge as the Senior Director of the Environment and Social Development department in 1998.
In 2000-04, as Director of the Environment Department of the World Bank Group, she was in charge of environmental strategy, policies and lending, and oversaw around 60% of lending operations of the World Bank Group. For the next three years, she served as the institution's Director and Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, based in Moscow.
On her return to Washington D.C. in 2007, she took charge as the director of Strategy and Operations, Sustainable Development, before finally becoming the Vice-President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank in 2008.
In this capacity, she worked on the Bank's governance reform and accompanying capital increase, and also maintained communication between the institution's senior management and (then) 186 shareholder countries.
After she was nominated for the post of European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, she announced her intention to resign from the World Bank in January 2010. Her confirmation hearing took place at the European Parliament on February 4, 2010, where she received warm response from MEPs and her performance at the hearing was widely publicized in Bulgaria.
In 2014, amidst reports that she might get the post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, her candidacy was announced by Bulgaria's interim prime minister. However, she was made the Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources by incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, thereby becoming the only one of the seven vice-presidents never to have served as a national minister.
She was appointed the first Chief Executive Officer for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association on October 28, 2016, and took charge in the role on January 2, 2017. After World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim stepped down in January 2019, she took over as the interim President of the World Bank Group on February 1, 2019.
In late September 2019, she was named the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and assumed the office on October 1, 2019. She has become the first person from an emerging economy and the second woman after outgoing Christine Lagarde to head the IMF.
Kristalina Georgieva played a key role in securing a $13 billion paid-in capital increase for World Bank's internal reforms, which is the largest funding increase in the Bank’s history.
Family & Personal Life
Kristalina Georgieva is married to engineer Kino Kinov, who lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, with their daughter. They recently welcomed a granddaughter as well.
Kristalina Georgieva committed the World Bank to gender equality within its own ranks, and its target for women to occupy 50% of senior management positions by 2020 was achieved ahead of time in October 2018.