James Appointed Historian at International Monetary Fund

Apr 12 2016
By B. Rose (Huber) Kelly
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Harold James, professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, was selected as one of the two new historians at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He and Atish (Rex) Ghosh from the IMF will replace retired historian James Boughton and will begin their new roles May 2, 2016.

James is the Claude and Lore Kelly Professor in European Studies and professor of history and international affairs and director of the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society. While at the Fund, James will retain his normal roles at Princeton.

“Few people are better placed than Harold James to take on this challenge,” said Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director.

James completed his undergraduate education at Cambridge University and received his Ph.D. in 1982. He began teaching at Princeton University in 1986 and has written numerous books and articles on economic history, focusing on modern German history in the earlier part of his career.

More recently, he has written extensively on the economic implications of globalization, drawing comparisons with previous episodes of globalization, including the one that ended with the Great Depression.

“It seems to me that the major international challenge of the 21st century is managing international, global cooperation on a range of issues—from climate change to monetary—which demand well functioning, responsible and accountable institutions. The IMF was designed in the 1940s to meet 20th-century challenges. How it responds and adapts to today's quite different environment is a fascinating story,” James said.

For more information about IMF, click here.