Lagarde selects US official as top deputy at IMF

AP News
Posted: Jul 12, 2011 4:14 PM
Lagarde selects US official as top deputy at IMF

The new chief of the International Monetary Fund has appointed a senior White House official to be her top deputy.

Christine Lagarde on Tuesday selected David Lipton to be the first deputy managing director. Lipton currently is senior director for international economic affairs in the National Security Council.

The appointment continues the practice of having an American in the No. 2 position, along with a European in the top spot.

Lagarde also appointed Min Zhu, a former deputy governor of China's central bank, to the position of deputy managing director. The appointment is intended to appease developing countries, which have long pushed for a greater voice at the international lending organization.

Lagarde was widely expected to appoint Zhu to a high-ranking position after China endorsed her candidacy for the top job. Zhu was a special adviser to Lagarde's predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Strauss-Kahn resigned in May to fight sexual assault charges. New York prosecutors have said their case has weakened in recent weeks because the victim has lied about aspects of her background.

Lipton, 57, has a long resume in both government service and on Wall Street. He was an executive at Citigroup and a managing director at a hedge fund before that.

He served in the Treasury Department from 1993 to 1998 under President Bill Clinton, rising to the post of undersecretary for international affairs. He also worked on the IMF staff from 1981 to 1989.

Zhu, 58, was deputy governor of the People's Bank of China before taking the special adviser position last year. He is moving into a newly created position as one of three deputy managing directors.

Zhu also worked at the World Bank for six years, and taught economics at Johns Hopkins University.

Lipton will serve as a special adviser beginning July 26, the IMF said, and then take over the first deputy managing director position Sept. 1. He will replace John Lipsky, who has served as acting managing director since Strauss-Kahn's resignation. Zhu will begin his post July 26.