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Indian-origin teacher appointed full professor in Harvard

May 16, 2010 15:26 IST

Gita Gopinath, an Indian-origin associate professor at Harvard University's Department of Economics, has been appointed a full professor, the first Indian woman in the institution's history to be given this appointment.

Gopinath's position as a tenured full Professor of Economics at Harvard begins on July 1. University President Drew G. Faust confirmed tenure for Gopinath last month, making her only the third woman to be a tenured full professor in the department.

"I am delighted at the appointment. This is a great recognition for me," Gopinath, who has been working in the area of international macroeconomics and finance, told PTI over phone from Boston.

The economics department had voted at an executive committee meeting in February to nominate Gopinath, who had been working as an Associate Professor in the Department, for tenure, which is a status indicating that the position is permanent and life-long.

The university's newspaper Harvard Crimson quoted Chairman of Harvard's economics department Professor John Campbell as saying that "Gopinath is really becoming a professional leader in terms of training economists" given her ability to move between theory and data analysis, and her strong skills as a teacher.

A member of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), International Growth Center at London School of Economics and Oxford University, she teaches a Ph.D. course on International Finance at Harvard and an undergraduate course in International Macroeconomic Policy.

Before joining Harvard in 2005, she was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.

Prior to that she completed her Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University. Born in Calcutta, Gopinath has studied at the University of Delhi.

Gopinath's appointment comes days after Harvard Business school named Nitin Nohria as its 10th Dean, the first time an Indian-origin person has been named to the post in the prestigious institution's 102-year old history.

At HBS itself, Nohria is among some 25 teachers of Indian-origin in a faculty of just over 200. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard.

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