Lagarde appointed for second term as IMF chief

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016,13:55 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Christian Lagarde, who steered the IMF through some troubled times including the Eupropean financial crisis, has been re-appointed as its Managing Director for a second five-year term after an uncontested election.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday selected 60-year-old Lagarde to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on July 5, 2016, IMF said in a statement.

The Board’s decision was taken by consensus. France’s former finance minister secured early backing from many of the fund’s most powerful members when the IMFs executive board launched the selection process in January, keeping other contenders from making an alternate bid and ensuring her a second term.

In taking this decision, the Board praised Ms Lagarde’s strong and wise leadership during her first term, said Aleksei Mozhin, dean of the IMF Executive Board. During turbulent times in the global economy, Ms Lagarde strengthened the Fund’s ability to support its members with policy advice, capacity building, and financing.

She has also played a critical role in revitalising the Fund’s relations with its global membership, including its emerging market and developing members, Mozhin said. Lagarde took the IMF’s top spot in mid-2011 after its former managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York under rape allegations, charges that were later dropped. Lagarde tamed the fund’s internal turmoil and then helped temper Europe’s raging debt crisis by pressing Europe into recapitalising its rotting banking sector.

Looking ahead, the Board also welcomed Ms Lagarde’s emphasis on ensuring that the Fund remains agile in all its operations; well positioned to provide integrated advice across the full spectrum of issues that impact macroeconomic stability; and focused on meeting the needs of its entire membership, Mozhin said. Before her appointment at the IMF in 2011, Lagarde had an extensive and noteworthy career as an anti-trust and labor lawyer.

She served as partner with the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie where she became Chairman of the Global Executive Committee in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004. 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 the 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. When appointed in 2011, Lagarde became the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institutions inception in 1944.

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