Finance minister appoints IMF expert as chief fiscal advisor

Thursday, November 15, 2018

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Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke yesterday announced that Calvin McDonald has joined the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service as chief fiscal advisor to the minister.

McDonald, a Jamaican, is on leave from the International Monetary Fund (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 programme 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 programme relationship,” a finance ministry news release quotes Dr Clarke.

“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,” Dr Clarke added.

In 2012, McDonald was appointed deputy secretary of the IMF, where he helps to shape the work programme of the institution and support the managing director and her deputies in chairing IMF executive board meetings.

An experienced economist with a strong background in academia, economic analysis, and macroeconomic policy advice, McDonald holds 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, and only, Jamaican to have joined the IMF through its prestigious Economist Programme for economists under the age of 32.

Over his 26-year career as a staff economist at the IMF, McDonald 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.

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