Against the background of the disappointing “mini-reform” agreed to at the recent IMF Spring Meetings, a full-day private workshop hosted along with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) and New Rules for Global Finance Coalition, looked at new ideas and proposals to transform the Fund into a reinvigorated, responsive and responsible player. By giving a voice to developing countries’ concerns in the existing debate and by bringing forward a sequence of new perspectives, the meeting also identified critical factors and issues necessary to break the stalemate that has emerged in the Executive Board of the Fund and other fora on IMF reform. Participants shared their views and ideas with a select group of experts from Washington D.C. based think tanks, civil society, as well as official representatives and senior staff of the International Monetary Fund.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.