His appointment is effective March 19, 2020.

His appointment was proposed by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on March 12, 2020, with an effective start date of March 30.

“Given the exceptional challenges that our member countries are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, I am very pleased that the IMF’s Executive Board has agreed to advance Geoffrey’s appointment”, Ms Georgieva said.

“I would like to extend a warm welcome to him as he joins the Fund team and I look forward to our working closely together. The IMF is putting all hands on deck to help our membership address this crisis—and Geoffrey will play a key role in our efforts,” she added.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Okamoto said: “I’m thankful for the Executive Board’s confidence in my appointment. It is at times like these when the Fund and its staff perform at their best in serving our member countries. I‘m looking forward to getting to work immediately and helping to lead the Fund in addressing the crisis at hand.”

The new first Deputy MD of the IMF most recently served as U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Finance and Development. In that position, he oversaw global financial markets and international monetary affairs; managed coordination with the G-7, G-20 and Financial Stability Board; negotiated on regional and bilateral economic issues; and oversaw U.S. participation in international financial institutions.

He previously served as the U.S. Treasury’s Acting Under Secretary for International Affairs where he led the Treasury Department’s negotiations on trade with China, resulting in a Phase I agreement signed in January 2020.

He also negotiated successful replenishments to the Multilateral Development Bank concessional windows and the Global Environment Facility and helped to establish the Women Entrepreneur’s Finance Initiative (We-Fi).