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John Phillip Lipsky (born February 19, 1947)[citation needed] is an American economist. He was the acting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from May to July 2011.[1][2][3] He assumed the post of Acting Managing Director after Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May 2011 accused of sexual assault.[4][5] After the appointment of Christine Lagarde he returned to his post as the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF. He retired from the IMF in November 2011 and is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).[6]

John Lipsky
Lipsky, John (IMF).jpg
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
In office
May 15, 2011 – July 5, 2011
Preceded byDominique Strauss-Kahn
Succeeded byChristine Lagarde
First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
In office
September 1, 2006 – September 1, 2011
DirectorDominique Strauss-Kahn
Christine Lagarde
Preceded byAnne Osborn Krueger
Succeeded byDavid Lipton
Personal details
Born (1947-02-19) February 19, 1947 (age 72)
[citation needed]
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.
Children2 daughters
1 son
EducationWesleyan University (BA)
Stanford University (MA, PhD)


Family, early life and educationEdit

Lipsky during the WEF 2011

Lipsky was born into a Jewish family in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[7] Lipsky's great-grandfather, Henry Smulekoff, was a Ukrainian immigrant who opened a furniture store on Cedar Rapids' May's Island in 1890. Lipsky was the middle child of three[3] born to Abbott and Joan Lipsky.[8] His late father was president of Smulekoff's,[8] and sister Ann Lipsky is president today.[3] His mother still lives in Cedar Rapids and is a retired lawyer, legislator, and chairwoman of the Iowa Council on Human Services.[3][8] Early interest in Latin America was sparked by a family vacation in Mexico which led to a friendship, a summer in Guadalajara with the friend, and a summer for the friend in Iowa.[3][9]

Lipsky attended Wesleyan University, earning a B.A. in economics. He gained his M.A. and Ph.D. in the field from Stanford University.[1][10]


On graduation from Stanford, Lipsky joined the International Monetary Fund, where he helped manage the Fund's exchange rate surveillance procedure. Appointed the IMF's resident representative in Chile from 1978 (during General Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship), Lipsky returned, in 1980, to the IMF headquarters in Washington D.C. to develop the IMF's analysis of international capital markets.[1][11] He also participated in negotiations with several member countries.[1]

After 10 years at the IMF, in 1984 he joined Salomon Brothers in New York, working with Henry Kaufman.[12] Based in London, England from 1989, he was director of the bank's European Economic and Market Analysis Group. He returned to New York in 1994, when appointed the bank's chief economist[1] and a managing director, with an office next to Henry Kaufman.[9] In 1998 he joined JPMorgan as Chief Economist, and on that bank's merger with Chase Manhattan was appointed Chief Economist and Director of Research. He was then appointed to an operation role, becoming Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Investment Bank.[1]

"In 2000, he chaired [an IMF] Financial Sector Review Group, established by former Managing Director Horst Köhler, to provide ... an independent perspective on [the Fund's] work on international financial markets."[1] On September 1, 2006 he returned to the IMF as First Deputy Managing Director, succeeding the departing Anne Osborn Krueger.[1] On May 12, 2011, Lipsky announced that he would leave his post at the end of his term on August 31, 2011, declining the option to serve for a second term.[13][14] Three days later, on May 15, 2011, Lipsky was appointed acting Managing Director of the IMF, after Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn's resignation due to being arrested on sexual assault charges.[4]

Lipsky also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research.[15][16] His other professional activities have included serving on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Germany, the Japan Society, the Advisory Board of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and the Council on Foreign Relations.[17] On 27 February that year, it was announced that he was joining the board of HSBC[18]

IMF leadership roleEdit

Lipsky's unplanned accession at the IMF led quickly to his immersion in addressing the European and Greek sovereign debt crises, a high-profile role his predecessor had been playing. At the 37th G8 summit held on 26–27 May 2011 in Deauville, France, Lipsky had to overcome Germany's reluctance to fund another round of bailouts for Greece. He did so by threatening to withhold IMF disbursements, an action that would precipitate a Greek default – an option none was ready to accept at that point.[19] In the "bitter infighting," Lipsky was characterized in The Guardian as "less silky, much blunter" than Strauss-Kahn.[20][21]

Lipsky retired from the IMF in 2011. He now teaches at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).[22]

Lipsky was credited with introducing Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos to the sometime chairman of Oracle, Donald Lucas. Lucas went on to serve as the Chairman of the board of Theranos.

Personal lifeEdit

Lipsky lives in Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, New York.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "John Lipsky – Biographical Information". International Monetary Fund. May 25, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  2. ^ McEnery, Thornton (May 17, 2011). "Meet John Lipsky And The 6 Other People Who Could Take Over For DSK". Business Insider. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Belz, Adam (May 17, 2011). "Lipsky 'well-prepared' for IMF leadership". USA Today. Retrieved May 21, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "IMF Official: Lipsky Acting Managing Director of Fund". Wall Street Journal. May 15, 2011.
  5. ^ Reuters (May 15, 2011). "Lipsky to direct IMF". Washington Post.
  6. ^ "IMF's Lipsky on China's economy". CNC World. June 13, 2011.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b c "The Des Moines Register". Des Moines Register. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Belz, Adam (May 17, 2011). "Iowan John Lipsky 'well-prepared' for IMF role". Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  10. ^ "Hogendorn Lectures". Wesleyan University. Archived from the original on April 5, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  11. ^ Katz, Ian (May 16, 2011). "IMF Amid Scandal Turns to Lipsky as Greece Talks Persist". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  12. ^ Fuerbringer, Jonathan (January 7, 1992). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; Economist Post Filled By Salomon Brothers". New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  13. ^ "IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky Announces Departure" (Press release). International Monetary Fund. May 12, 2011.
  14. ^ Rastello, Sandrine (May 12, 2011). "IMF's No. 2 Official Lipsky Will Leave Post on August 31". Bloomberg Television.
  15. ^ "John Lipsky". Charlie Rose. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
  16. ^ Rastello, Sandrine (September 28, 2010). "Lipsky Says Global Growth in Second Half Will Fall Short of IMF's Forecast". Bloomberg Television.
  17. ^ "IMF Managing Director de Rato Proposes Appointment of John Lipsky as First Deputy Managing Director" (Press release). International Monetary Fund. May 18, 2006.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Traynor, Ian (June 16, 2011). "Hardline IMF forced Germany to guarantee Greek bailout". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  20. ^ Traynor, Ian (June 16, 2011). "How Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest in New York worsened Europe's woe". The Guardian. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  21. ^ Traynor, Ian (June 17, 2011). "Hardline IMF forced Germany to guarantee Greek bailout". The Guardian. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  22. ^ "John Lipsky, formerly of IMF, joins economics program at SAIS : Johns Hopkins University". Retrieved October 4, 2017.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Anne Osborn Krueger
First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
Succeeded by
David Lipton
Preceded by
Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

Succeeded by
Christine Lagarde