New Delhi: Poonam Gupta, a former lead economist at the World Bank, officially joined as the Director-General of the think tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) Friday.
The first woman to hold the post, Gupta will succeed the current head, Shekhar Shah, who has led the organisation since 2011.
Established in 1956, the New Delhi-based NCAER is India’s oldest independent and non-profit economic policy research institute.
During the announcement of her appointment in April, Nandan Nilekani, president of the policy think tank, said, “We are delighted to have Poonam succeed Shekhar at the end of his successful tenure. She brings a set of unique experiences and perspectives that will accelerate, deepen and broaden our research agenda with impact and rigour.”
Gupta previously worked as the lead economist of Global Macro and Market Research at International Finance Corporation (IFC), lead economist for India at the World Bank, and was also an economist at the International Monetary Fund at one point in her career.
Her first major task with NCAER will be leading the organisation’s annual economic policy event scheduled for mid-July.
“The last year and a half has been extremely tough for India and the world for both the people and the economy. Through our various forums and advocacy events, we at NCAER are trying to do our bit to find ways to mitigate the crisis caused by the pandemic-induced lockdowns and economic recession, and alleviate people’s suffering, especially the marginalised sections who have faced the brunt of the impact,” said Gupta, in a statement.
She added that the annual event will focus on these economic challenges in the country.
During the event last year, she presented a paper co-authored by Barry Eichengreen from the Berkeley University and Rishabh Choudhary from the World Bank, titled ‘Inflation Targeting in India: An Interim Assessment’.
Gupta’s career in economics spans two decades
Gupta holds a PhD in International Economics from the University of Maryland, US, and a Masters in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi.
With two decades of experience, she also served as the Reserve Bank of India Chair Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and a Professor at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.
She also taught at her alma mater, Delhi School of Economics, as an associate professor.
Gupta’s work has been featured in The Economist, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal.