Lagarde Chosen to Head IMF

Posted June 28th, 2011 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has been chosen to head the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde is an attorney and has been France's finance minister since 2007. Previously, she was her country's minister for foreign trade for two years.

The IMF's Executive Board made the selection Tuesday after Lagarde received the endorsement of the United States, Russia, and Brazil.

Lagarde will be the first woman to lead the global lender, which has 187 member nations. Lagarde's five-year term begins July 5.

The top IMF post is vacant because former Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned after being arrested in New York on sexual assault charges, which he denies.

The IMF gives loans and technical advice to countries with economic problems, and has been playing a role in bailing out Greece.

Under a decades-old informal agreement, the head of the IMF has always been a European, while the top post at the World Bank has gone to an American. Leaders of some emerging major economies have called this tradition “outdated” as Brazil, Russia, India, China and other nations play a large and growing role in the global economy.