Martin Mühleisen is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center and a former International Monetary Fund (IMF) official with decades-long experience in economic crisis management and financial diplomacy.
Among other responsibilities, Mühleisen led the IMF’s unprecedented response to the COVID-19 crisis and oversaw work on the institution’s overall strategy and lending policies. He represented the fund in Group of Seven and Group of Twenty (G20) communiqué discussions, participating in six leaders summits before his 2021 retirement from his position as director for strategy, policy, and review. He also played a leading role in the negotiations extending the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights allocation, the New Arrangements to Borrow, and the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative and Common Framework for Debt Relief.
Mühleisen served several roles at the IMF including chief of staff and principal advisor to Managing Director Christine Lagarde from 2013 to 2017. This period included the completion of the IMF’s Fourteenth General Review of Quotas, China’s inclusion into the SDR basket, the agreement on Greece during the 2015 European Union Summit, and the IMF’s rapid response to the Ebola crisis. As an IMF staffer, Mühleisen worked on several of the major G20 countries, focusing on fiscal- and financial-policy issues. He coordinated the IMF’s work on advanced economies during the global financial crisis, with personal sign-off responsibility for the Euro area programs with Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. He also drove innovations in risk management, knowledge management, and information-technology applications.
A German national and Konrad Adenauer scholar, Mühleisen holds a master’s degree in economics from Cambridge University and a PhD summa cum laude in economics from the University of Munich. He has published and overseen work on macro-financial analysis, the international monetary system and digital currencies, economic linkages, fiscal policy, aging, saving, and inequality.