Christine Lagarde replaces ousted Kahn as new IMF chief

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Christine Lagarde
Washington, Jun 29: After much deliberations and discussions on who would replace the disgraced Dominique Strauss Kahn as the new International Monetary Fund chief, the top job was aptly bestowed on a woman. In a first of its kind move, a woman has been named the new IMF chief. French Christine Lagarde has earned the unique distinction making her the first such woman to adorn the coveted position since the institutions inception in 1944.

Lagarde, aged 55 is the French Finance Minister who bagged the post after the shameful removal of Kahn following sexual assault charges. An official IMF announcement stated, “The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today 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."

The IMF zeroed in on Lagarde after being selected by the 24-member Executive Board, representing the IMF's 187 member countries. There were other contenders for the job including Agustin Carstens of Mexico. The statement added, “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. The Executive Board looks forward to Ms Lagarde effectively leading the International Monetary Fund."

In her first statement after being named IMF chief, she commented, "The IMF has served its 187 member countries well during the global economic and financial crisis, transforming itself in many positive ways. I will make it my overriding goal that our institution continues to serve its entire membership with the same focus and the same spirit."

She also added, “I am deeply honored by the trust placed in me by the Executive Board. I would like to thank the Fund's global membership warmly for the broad-based support I have received. I would also like to express my respect and esteem for my colleague and friend, AgustÍn Carstens."

Lagarde possesses an impressive career graph as an anti-trust and labour lawyer and is also a partner with international law firm of Baker & McKenzie, where she was elected Chairman in Oct 1999. She continued service there till June 2005 till the period she was chosen for a ministerial post in France.

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