Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christine Lagarde

Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde (née Lallouette; born 1 January 1956) is a French lawyer and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund since July 5, 2011. Previously, she held various ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry and before that Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde was the first woman ever to become minister of Economic Affairs of a G8 economy, and is the first woman to ever head the IMF.

A noted antitrust and labour lawyer, Lagarde made history as the first female chair of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. On 16 November 2009, The Financial Times ranked her the best minister of finance of the Eurozone.

On 28 June 2011, she was named as the next managing director of the International Monetary Fund for a five-year term, starting on 5 July 2011, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn. This made her the 11th European running to head the IMF. In 2011, Lagarde was ranked the 9th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.

Personal Life
Lagarde was born in Le Havre, a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France, as Christine Madeleine Odette Lallouette into a family of academics. Her father Robert Lallouette was a Professor of English at the Faculty of Rouen; her mother Nicole worked as a teacher. After graduation in 1974 at the Lycée François 1er in Le Havre, she went on an AFS scholarship to the Holton-Arms School, a girls' school in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Then she graduated from law school at University Paris X Nanterre, near Paris, France, and obtained a Master's Degree in political science from the Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence (Sciences Po Aix). Since 2010, she has presided over the Institute's board of directors.

Lagarde worked as an intern at the United States Capitol, as William Cohen's congressional assistant.

As a teenager, Lagarde was a member of the French national synchronised swimming team. She is divorced and has two sons, Pierre-Henri Lagarde (born 1986) and Thomas Lagarde (born 1988). Since 2006, her partner has been the entrepreneur Xavier Giocanti from Marseille. She is a vegetarian and never drinks alcohol. Her hobbies are scuba diving, swimming and gardening.

The fashion magazine Vogue profiled Lagarde in September 2011.

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