Mrs. Ter-Minassian holds degrees in Law from the University of Rome, Italy and in Economics from Harvard University in the United States. From 1967 to 1978, she was on the staff of the Central Bank of Italy, part of the time on secondment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In the IMF, she was for eight years Chief of the Southern European Division in the European Department (which covered Italy, Spain, and Portugal, among other countries). In this capacity, she negotiated the 1983 IMF Stand-By Agreement with Portugal. From 1988 to 1996, she held the position of Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the Fund. In 1990, she headed the IMF Task Force for the joint study of the Soviet economy, commissioned to the IMF, IBRD, OECD and EBRD by the G7. Between 1997 and 2000, as Deputy Director of the Western Hemisphere Department, she headed the negotiations of the IMF programs with Brazil and Argentina, as well as overseen the department's work on various other countries in the region.
Mrs. Ter-Minassian was appointed Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department effective January 2, 2001.
Her areas of principal interest and expertise include macroeconomic analysis, fiscal policy, budget management and intergovernmental fiscal relations. She has published several papers in these areas, including the book entitled Fiscal Federalism in Theory and Practice.