**Rodrigo Rato**

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced yesterday that Rodrigo Rato has been selected as Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board for a five-year term. He succeeds Horst Kohler.

Mr. Rato previously served as Minister of Economy and Vice President for Economic Affairs for the Government of Spain between 2000 and 2004, and as Spain’s Minister of Economy and Finance from 1996 to 2000. As Minister of Economy, he was the Governor for Spain on the Boards of Governors of the IMF, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

US Treasury Secretary John Snow said today that the US Treasury is very pleased with the IMF Executive Board’s decision, describing Mr. Rato as having an excellent understanding of the realities of economic policymaking. *”We expect Rodrigo Rato will be a strong and skillful leader of the IMF and will focus on continuing to strengthen the institution, to the benefit of all its members,”* he said.

The Council of European Economic and Finance Ministers also attaches great importance to Mr. Rato’s distinguished record, wide policy experience and political expertise as a former Finance Minister in Spain. ECOFIN says this experience would enable Mr. Rato to make an excellent contribution to the IMF.