Raised in US, Goa’s daughter returns as Federal Reserve economist at G20

Panaji: Born and raised in the US, Deepa Dhume Datta would visit Goa every three years as a child, to spend time with family. This week, Deepa returned to Goa, not only as a daughter of the land, but as an economist representing the Federal Reserve Board of the US, for the G20 meetings.
Deepa currently serves as the chief of the advanced foreign economies section at the division of international finance of the central bank of the US.
Though her parents moved to the US in the 1970s, where Deepa was born and raised along with her sister, she never lost touch with her roots, including continuing to speak Konkani.
“I would spend six weeks in Goa at a time. My favourite thing to do was and still is just to spend time with my family. With so many aunts, uncles, and cousins, there’s always a story to hear, either about something that happened yesterday or a story from my parents’ childhoods,” Deepa told TOI.
She has a PhD in economics from Harvard University and is currently researching energy markets.
“Because we visited Goa every three years from 1988 to 2008, I was able to clearly observe the trade liberalisation and economic development taking place between each of our visits,” said Deepa.
“Each time we returned, I observed greater numbers of domestic and international brands available, the expansion of telephone and eventually cellular service, the larger numbers of television channels, ever expanding sets of car makes and models, and so on.”
Watching this transformation happen before her eyes made her, said Deepa, curious about the drivers and consequences of economic development.
“It was one of the key factors that inspired me to study international trade and development during my graduate study of economics at Harvard.”
Deepa was a delegate of the Federal Reserve Board at the meeting of the International Financial Architecture Working Group at the G20.
“In addition to the substantive discussions that take place at each of the G20 meetings, I delight in watching the cultural showcases that are put on for the delegates. I have a fondness for the exhibit and preservation of Goan culture, and to see these familiar songs, dances, and art forms shared with all my fellow conference delegates is highly enjoyable,” said the economist, who added she always takes back with her roasted unsalted cashews and cashew ladoos from Goa.
Deepa said that her advice to Goan and Indian youth with ambitions to make a mark globally would be to try and pursue the best possible education.
“I have been privileged to attend the best schools throughout my life, in large part thanks to the sacrifices my parents made for me, and the values they instilled in me,” she said. “Having the exposure to new ideas and the opportunity to build new skills has been critical in my journey, and I would advise anyone with global ambitions to similarly seek out new ideas, new challenges, and the best education possible.”