The White House appointed Atkinson, 61, to her new position last month, succeeding Michael Froman, who was sworn in as the new U.S. trade representative. Atkinson will be attending a lot of summits, and she should be comfortable in her new role. Her career and life have spanned the Atlantic. She was born in Washington but raised in London. As a journalist, she wrote for The Economist and The Washington Post, as well as The Times of London. In the public sector, she has worked for both the U.S. Treasury and Bank of England. She spent 10 years as an International Monetary Fund economist specializing in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Such work runs in the family: Her father was the U.K. government's chief economist. In the private sector, Atkinson worked a brief stint at investor consultancy Stonebridge International before returning to the IMF and ultimately becoming head of its external relations department in 2008. Her time there spanned some of the worst points of the European sovereign-debt crisis as well as the departure of IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn after his 2011 arrest on accusations that he had sexually assaulted a hotel housekeeper. Atkinson left the IMF for the White House shortly after that to become a special assistant to the president for international economic affairs. She graduated from Oxford University with a bachelor's degree in politics, philosophy, and economics.