Horst Köhler took office on May 1,2000, as the eighth Managing Director of the IMF. The IMF Executive Board had unanimously selected him as Managing Director and Chairman of the Board on March 23 (see IMF Survey, April 3, page 97). Köhler told the press on assuming his new position that he is “excited to be in Washington and to get to work here and look at what the priorities are.” Asked to comment on the issues that had been raised by critics of the IMF at the time of the spring meetings, he said, “We have to take these kinds of discussions seriously and to give answers based on solid judgment.”
Immediately prior to taking up his position at the IMF, Köhler served as President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, a position to which he was appointed in September 1998. From 1990 to 1993, he served as Germany’s Deputy Minister of Finance, with responsibility for international financial and monetary relations, and from 1993 to 1998, he was president of the German Savings Bank Association.
IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler (center) arrives at IMF Headquarters to begin his first full day of work. To the right is First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer.
A German national, Köhler holds a doctorate in economics and political science from the University of Tübingen, where he was a research assistant at the Institute for Applied Economic Research. He is married and has two children.