Karnit Flug was sworn in on Wednesday as Bank of Israel governor, stepping in a position which has remained unmanned for more than four months. In her speech at the appointment ceremony, Flug said "the main objective of the bank is to maintain price stability," adding that in recent years, this goal has generally been achieved. Flug addressed Israel's widening social gaps, saying that high growth rates are not enough. "The fruits of growth should be divided more equally by all parts of the population, so that they will support the reduction of poverty and inequality in income distribution." Flug has served as acting governor since July 30 when Stanley Fischer, former chief economist of the World Bank, stepped down as the central bank chief after eight years in his duty. Flug, served previously as Fischer's deputy, is considered to succeed his monetary policy that kept a low interest rate and struggled to curb the dollar devaluation against the Israeli shekel. Flug, 58, would be the first woman-governor of the Bank of Israel. She completed her M.A. at Hebrew University in 1980 and then pursued her Ph.D. in Economics at Columbia University in New York. In 1984, Flug joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an economist, and in 1988, she returned to Israel and joined the Research Department of the Bank of Israel, where she worked and published papers on topics related to the labor market, balance of payments and macroeconomic policies.