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Ilan Goldfajn, chief economist of Itau Unibanco, speaks to reporters during a media briefing ahead of the preliminary draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 28, 2011, in Rio de Janeiro. Getty

Ilan Goldfajn, chief economist of Itau Unibanco Holding SA, will replace Alexandre Tombini as Brazil's central bank governor, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles announced Tuesday.

The appointment comes as Brazil’s interim government works to win back investor trust and revive Latin America’s biggest economy, returning it to growth amid its worst recession in decades.

MIT-trained economist Goldfajn is widely respected on Wall Street, and he was the central bank's director of economic policy between 2000 and 2003. Goldfajn, who is Israeli-born, has also previously worked at the International Monetary Fund.

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Tombini had served as central bank chief since 2011 under President Dilma Rousseff, who was recently suspended from office amid impeachment proceedings against her. Meirelles had taken over as Brazil's economic boss last week after interim President Michel Temer took office.

Under the leadership of its current president, Alexandre Tombini, the central bank has repeatedly missed its annual inflation targets, hurting the bank's inflation-fighting credentials and fueling speculation of political interference.

In a statement, Tombini welcomed Goldfajn's appointment, citing his experience within the central bank and his reputation as an economist with a vision of the domestic and global economy.

An official familiar with the situation had told Reuters on Monday that Goldfajn could replace Tombini before the bank's next rate-setting meeting on June 8. Last week, Temer's press office told Reuters Tombini could stay on the job until June for a gradual leadership change.

Data from Reuters were used to report this story.