WESTON, MA– Gita Gopinath, a professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University and a resident of Weston, MA, has been appointed financial advisor to newly-elected Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Gita Gopinath (Photo courtesy: Harvard University)
Gita Gopinath (Photo courtesy: Harvard University)

Her appointment, however, has caused some controversy, according to news reports by Hindu newspaper and Press Trust of India. The ruling Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala said her appointment would not have any effect on the basic economic policies of the Left government.

CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran was quoted as saying that it was the Chief Minister’s discretion to appoint a person to advise him on financial matters and it has nothing to do with the economic policies of the government.

Gopinath could not be reached for comment for this story.

“The LDF government is going ahead based on the election manifesto, which will be the basic doctrine for formulating our economic policies. Our slogan is to formulate an alternative to the neo-liberal economic ideologies. There will be no deviation from that stand,” Rajendran told PTI.

Stating that there is no room for such fears, Rajendran said that Gopinath would only be the Chief Minister’s adviser and would have nothing to do with the LDF government, according to Hindu newspaper.

Gopinath is the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and of Economics at Harvard University. Her research focuses on International Finance and Macroeconomics. She is a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, member of the economic advisory panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a Managing Editor of the Review of Economic Studies, co-editor of the current Handbook of International Economics, and a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) for the programs in Economic Fluctuations and Growth, International Finance and Macroeconomics, and Monetary Economics, according to her bio at Harvard University website.

Gopinath also served as a member of the Eminent Persons Advisory Group on G-20 Matters for India’s Ministry of Finance. In 2011, she was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Before coming to Harvard, she was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.

Gopinath holds B.A. in Economics (Honors) from Lady Shri Ram College and Masters in Economics from Delhi School of Economics.

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