Ajai Chopra was a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics from April 2014 to April 2016. Before joining the Institute, Chopra worked for three decades at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where his career focused on country surveillance and IMF lending programs primarily in Europe and Asia but also in Latin America and Africa. As deputy director of the IMF's European Department, his last position at the IMF, he was part of the department's senior management team. He led the IMF's Article IV consultations with Germany (2003–06) and the United Kingdom (2008–12) and was also responsible for the design and monitoring of Ireland's financial rescue program (2010–13). He was selected for the Fundwide Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2011 in recognition of his role as acting director of the European Department during a particularly tumultuous period in the region. Prior to that position, Chopra was an assistant director in the Asian Department, where he was in charge of the IMF's program with the Republic of Korea in the aftermath of its 1997 financial crisis.
Chopra has authored numerous country reports for IMF Article IV consultations and IMF lending programs and has published papers in the IMF's Working Paper and Occasional Paper series and also IMF Staff Papers. He was a founding contributor to the IMF's blog (iMFdirect). On sabbatical from the IMF in 2007, he split the year between the Center for Global Development in Washington and the Bank of England in London.
He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Bombay and his PhD from the University of Virginia.