IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva secures second term after Paschal Donohoe links come to nothing

Bulgarian returns to role, with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to ‘continue work in Irish and European politics’

Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva has secured a second term in the role that was hotly tipped for Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe.

Ms Georgieva was the sole candidate nominated for the position as managing director, according to the IMF’s executive board and will serve a second five-year term beginning in October 2024

This is despite extensive speculation that Mr Donohoe, who is also the current head of the Eurogroup gathering of EU finance minister, was to be her successor.

Ms Georgieva, a Bulgarian native, has been the IMF’s managing director since 2019 and was commended by the board for her “strong and agile” leadership during her term, “navigating a series of major global shocks”.


Mr Donohoe’s prospect as the next head of the IMF has followed him closely since financial news agency Bloomberg reported in December that he was in the running to assume the position after Ms Georgieva’s term finished.

Since then, Mr Donohoe has repeatedly reiterated his position that his sole interest in public life is in “continuing my work in Irish and European politics”.

However, the minister never explicitly ruled himself out, fuelling speculation until last month.

Speaking in Brussels last month, Mr Donohoe said his focus was on his existing work, and he did not believe there would be a potential vacancy in the role as head of the IMF.

“Kristalina Georgieva has done an excellent job,” he said.

On her appointment, Ms Georgieva said she is “deeply grateful” for the trust and support of the board.

“In recent years, the IMF has helped our member countries to navigate successive shocks, including the pandemic, war and conflicts, and a cost-of-living crisis.

“We also stepped up our work on climate change, fragility and conflict, and the digital transition, in line with their increased significance for macroeconomic and financial stability, growth and employment,” she said.

Ms Georgieva added that the IMF has contributed to countries’ capacity to deal with high uncertainty and abrupt shifts in economic conditions.

“We are and will remain a transmission line of good policies for our members and will continue to strive to be more effective, incisive and a welcoming place for countries to come together to tackle global challenges,” she said.