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Lagarde's deputy is White House man

Wednesday 13 July 2011 - by Nicola York

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has put forward a key White House aide and a Chinese official to be her two right-hand men at the Fund.

David Lipton, who will take over as first deputy managing director from John Lipsky, is currently special assistant to the president for international economic affairs at the White House.

Lipton was previously managing director and head of global country risk management at Citi and also held senior roles at the US Treasury.

He will begin his role as special adviser to the managing director before assuming his deputy md duties in September when Lipsky steps down.

Lipsky will stay on as a special adviser from September until November 2011.

Min Zhu who is currently special adviser to the managing director will be promoted to a newly created deputy managing director post on 26 July. He will be working with the other three deputy managing directors to support Lagarde.

Zhu joined the International Monetary Fund from the People's Bank of China in 2010 where he was deputy governor. His appointment is seen as an appeasement to emerging market economies which have criticised the IMF for being too focused on the developed world in the past.

Lagarde says: "I am delighted to propose David Lipton as the next first deputy managing director. Combining international expertise, public sector policy making and private sector experience, and a proven track record in economic crisis management, David brings to the Fund extensive experience in policy-making, excellent communication and negotiating skills, and a very good knowledge of IMF policies and procedures."

On Zhu she says: "As deputy managing director, he will play an important role in working with me and the rest of my management team in meeting the challenges facing our global membership in the period ahead, and in strengthening the Fund's understanding of Asia and emerging markets more generally."

Although Lagarde selects and appoints these roles, they do require approval by the IMF executive board.

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