Brazil's Ilan Goldfajn was elected Sunday as the new head of the Interamerican Development Bank (BID), it was reported in Washington DC.
The current director of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Western Hemisphere Department and former Brazilian Central Bank President (2016-2019) will be the first to hold such a position.
The Brazilian economist prevailed over Cecilia Todesca Bocco, from Argentina, Gerard Johnson, from Trinidad and Tobago, Gerardo Esquivel Hernández, from Mexico, and Nicolás Eyzaguirre Guzmán, from Chile.
The president of the IDB is elected by the Board of Governors for a five-year term.
Known for his technical skills, Goldfajn is said not to be on good terms with Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, although he insisted before the IDB boards that he had strong support from his own country.
The Board of Governors is made up of the ministers of Economy and economic authorities of the 48 member countries.
Goldfajn's candidacy was submitted by President Jair Bolsonaro just a few days before losing the elections to Lula.
When a World Cup comes, the coach ”decides who the (national team) players are and 99% of the people understand that those are the players, but there is always 1% who say, Well, I want my player from my team. But I can assure you that when the World Cup starts, all Brazilians will support their team,” Goldfajn argued regarding his being resisted by some members of Lula's transition team.
Born in Haifa (Israel) in March 1966 (56 years old) but naturalized Brazilian and raised in Rio de Janeiro, he has extensive experience in the banking sector, both public and private, as he was chief economist and partner of Itaú, the largest private bank in Latin America. His resume also includes Credit Suisse Brasil, Ciano Investimentos, and Gávea Investimentos.
He served as president of the Brazilian Central Bank between 2016 and 2019 after being nominated to the position by then-President Michel Temer. He had a previous spell at the BCB where he was Director of Economic Policy between 2000 and 2003.
Goldfajn is an economist trained at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and holds a master's degree from the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) in Rio de Janeiro and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The Brazilian is to take over the IDB after the departure of the Cuban-American, Mauricio Claver-Carone, who was expelled after allegedly having an affair with a female assistant.