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Lipton tapped as IMF number two

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International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde named White House international economics adviser David Lipton as her second in command on Tuesday, and elevated former People’s Bank of China deputy governor Min Zhu to a newly created top job at the agency.

Both appointments were expected. They reflect what many analysts consider committments Lagarde made during her campaign for the IMF job to continue the longstanding tradition of naming an American as the agency’s number two, while also boosting the influence of major emerging markets such as China.

Lipton is a veteran of international economic crisis negotiations and former adviser to the governments of Poland and Russia. He currently serves as a special assistant to President Obama and a member of both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. Lipton will start at the IMF on July 26 in an advisory role, before taking over from John Lipsky after his retirement on Aug. 31.

Min currently serves as a special adviser to the managing director, a job created early last year in an effort to involve China more deeply in the IMF’s operations. Lagarde said on Tuesday she would appoint Min to a fourth, newly created deputy managing director’s position, where he will serve along with Lipton, Japanese national Naoyuki Shinohara and Egyptian Nemat Shafik as the fund’s senior leaders.

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