IMF names French finance minister as new chief
Christine Lagarde will be first female managing director of organization
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde will become the first female chief of the International Monetary Fund, with the global lending organization naming her Tuesday as its managing director.
Lagarde's selection became all but assured when the Obama administration endorsed her earlier Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
Hours later, the IMF's 24-member board voted to appoint her to the position. She also won support from Europe, China and Russia.
Lagarde takes over from Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the scandal-plagued Frenchman who resigned last month after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel housekeeper.
She also takes over at a tumultuous time for the world economy, with Europe's debt crisis is intensifying and emerging nations calling for a greater voice at the IMF.
According to the Wall Street Journal, she will be:
playing a critical role in negotiating financing for Europe's sovereign-debt bailouts, a crisis that threatens to rupture a fragile global recovery. Lagarde will also enter arguably one of the world's most powerful financial positions as economists warn that sluggish restructuring of the financial system risks creating future banking perils and unbalanced growth in the global economy is resurrecting protectionist policies.
Lagarde has a reputation for sealing deals under pressure, Reuters reports.
During talks among the G20 nations in February she brought China into a compromise deal on ways to measure economic imbalances. She proved her negotiating stamina a decade ago as the first female chairman of U.S. law firm Baker & McKenzie.
In naming Lagarde, 55, the IMF continues the tradition of appointing a European to run the world’s premier financial institution.
According to the Globe and Mail:
Lagarde benefited from the universal support of the members of the European Union, which maintain influence at the fund that is disproportionate to their reduced share of the global economy.
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.