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Christine Lagarde appointed new IMF chief

Last updated on: June 28, 2011 23:45 IST

Christine Lagarde appointed new IMF chief

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French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde on Tuesday became the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund after its executive board chose her over Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens.

Lagarde, 55, who succeeds Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institution's inception in 1944.

Lagarde, picked with backing from the United States, Russia, China, Europe and several major emerging-market nations, faces immediate crisis talks over Europe.

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Image: French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.
Photographs: Reuters
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Christine Lagarde appointed new IMF chief

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She takes over at a tumultuous time when emerging nations want a greater voice at the IMF and the organisation's reputation has been tarred by a scandal involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The IMF's 24-member executive board agreed that both were well qualified candidates and the objective was to select one by consensus.

Based on the candidate profile that had been established, the executive board, after considering all relevant information on the candidacies, proceeded to select Lagarde by consensus.

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Image: Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens.
Photographs: Reuters
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Christine Lagarde appointed new IMF chief

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Her five-year term will start on July 5, 2011.

Strauss-Kahn resigned last month after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel housekeeper.

According to the agreed procedures, the executive board had agreed to meet with Agustin Carstens and Lagarde for the post. The candidates met bilaterally with executive directors, as well as the executive board, during June 20-23, 2011.

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Image: Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Photographs: Reuters
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Christine Lagarde appointed new IMF chief

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In these meetings, Carstens and Lagarde had the opportunity to present all relevant information concerning their specific candidacies.

The executive board agreed that both were well qualified candidates and the objective was to select one by consensus.

Based on the candidate profile that had been established, the executive board, after considering all relevant information on the candidacies, proceeded to select Lagarde by consensus.

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Image: Lagarde with Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Photographs: Reuters
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Christine Lagarde appointed new IMF chief

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The board said it looks forward to Lagarde effectively leading the International Monetary Fund as its next managing director.

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 IMF, 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.

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Image: The IMF plaque at the financial body's headquarters.
Photographs: Reuters
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Christine Lagarde appointed new IMF chief

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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. Lagarde has degrees from Institute of Political Studies and from the Law School of Paris X University, where she also lectured prior to joining Baker & McKenzie in 1981.


Image: The new IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.
Photographs: Reuters
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