The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Christine Lagarde to serve as IMF Managing Director and Madame Chairman of the Executive Board for a five-year term starting on July 5, 2011. Lagarde, who succeeds Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institution’s inception in 1944.
The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chairman of the Executive Board. The chief executive is assisted by three Deputy Managing Directors in the operation of the Fund, which serves 187 member countries through about 2,700 staff from more than 140 countries.
Lagarde, 55, a national of France, has been the Minister of Finance of France since June 2007. Prior to that, she served as France’s Minister for Foreign Trade for two years. Lagarde also has had an extensive and noteworthy career as an anti-trust and labor lawyer, serving as a partner with the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie, where the partnership elected her as chairman in October 1999. She held the top post at the firm until June 2005 when she was named to her initial ministerial post in France. Ms. Lagarde has degrees from Institute of Political Studies (IEP) and from the Law School of Paris X University, where she also lectured prior to joining Baker & McKenzie in 1981.