Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician. She is currently the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a position she has held since 2011. Prior to this position, Lagarde was the Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment, as well as the Minister of Agriculture and Fishing. For her education, “Lagarde attended Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, where she obtained Master’s degrees in English, labor law, and social law. She also holds a master’s degree from the Institut d’études politiques d’Aix-en-Provence.” After graduating, she worked for Baker & McKenzie, an international law firm before entering the ministerial and political sphere. Lagarde has been instrumental in paving the path for women aspiring to leadership positions in the international and foreign affairs realm. She was the first woman to become the Finance Minister of a G8 Economy, and she is the first female IMF director. As the director of the IMF, Lagarde faced the European debt crisis. She advocated for a united response from European countries to cut deficits and reduce debt. With Greece’s severe economic crisis, Lagarde urged Greece to reduce expenditures before providing further aid, alluding that Greece did not pay its taxes. Lagarde’s refusal to provide aid to Greece was widely controversial. However, her resolve to unite European countries and reduce debt remained absolute.
With the upcoming G20 and B20 summits, economic development is a central topic. With Lagarde’s expertise and experience in finance and economic development, she will bring much to the table in her discussions with other world leaders on the global economy and sustainable development.
“I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens.”
“I look under the skin of countries’ economies, and I help them make better decisions and be stronger, to prosper and create employment.”