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IMF official appointed chief fiscal advisor to finance minister

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service today announced that International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Secretary Calvin McDonald has been appointed as chief fiscal advisor to portfolio minister Dr Nigel Clarke.

The finance ministry in a statement this afternoon said McDonald, a Jamaican, is on leave from the IMF and will be primarily responsible for advising on improving the ministry's macro-fiscal capacity especially in light of Jamaica's expected graduation from a program relationship with the IMF.

“Jamaica has benefited from, and continues to benefit from the fund's technical and analytical capacity in the context of a borrowing, program relationship. When we eventually graduate to a non-borrowing relationship with the IMF we will still have access to technical assistance as needed. It is crucial that we strengthen our indigenous macro-fiscal capacity and technical expertise and there is no better person to help us in this regard than Calvin McDonald,” the statement continued.

In 2012, McDonald was appointed deputy secretary of the IMF where he helps to shape the work program of the institution and supports the Managing Director and her deputies in chairing IMF Executive Board meetings.

The ministry said McDonald is an experienced economist with a strong background in academia, economic analysis, and macroeconomic policy advice.

He is said to hold both bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of the West Indies (UWI), and did doctoral studies at New York University.

He lectured in economics at UWI, State University of New York and Iona College.

He became the first Jamaican, and remains the only Jamaican, to have joined the IMF through its prestigious Economist Program for economists under the age of 32. The ministry added that over his 26-year career as a staff economist at the IMF, he has distinguished himself through his accomplishments, and held several senior positions.

In 1997, he was the desk economist for Uganda when that country became the first to receive multilateral debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative. In the late 1990s, he served as fiscal economist on the Russia team during the currency crisis and unilateral debt default, and helped design the IMF's last financial support program for that country.

He was deputy mission chief for Nigeria, and part of a team that drew up the economic programme in 2005 that supported that country's receipt of the second largest ever (after Iraq) Paris Club debt write-off (US$18 billion debt reduction on US$30 billion debt).

He served as: deputy division chief in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF, where he led technical assistance missions on public expenditure policy and pension reforms; mission chief for South Africa and division chief in the African Department, and assistant director to two deputy managing directors in the Office of the Managing Director of the IMF.

The ministry said McDonald has done much to enhance the reputation of Jamaicans at the IMF, adding that he, along with only two other Jamaicans, has attained the highest levels of seniority ever accomplished by Jamaicans at the IMF.

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