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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Christine Lagarde

Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde (born 1 January 1956) is the current Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry of France, appointed by President Nicolas Sarkozy in June 2007. She was previously Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde is the first woman ever to become minister of Economic Affairs of a G8 economy.
A noted antitrust and labour lawyer, Lagarde made history as the first female chairman of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. On 16 November 2009, The Financial Times ranked her the best minister of Finance of the Eurozone.
In 2009, Lagarde was ranked the 17th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.

Ministerial career
As France's Trade Minister between 2005 and May 2007, Lagarde prioritized opening new markets for the country's products, focusing on the technology sector. On 18 May 2007, she was moved to the Ministry of Agriculture as part of the government of François Fillon. The following month she joined François Fillon's cabinet in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment to become the first woman to ever be in charge of economic policy in France.
In May 2011, Lagarde was mentioned as a possible successor of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Her candidacy received the support of the British and German governments and of other European leaders.

Early life
Lagarde was born in Paris as Christine Madeleine Odette Lallouette to academic parents. She attended secondary school in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime) and in Bethesda, Maryland at Holton Arms School. Then she graduated from law school (Paris X), and obtained a Master's Degree from the Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence.
Lagarde worked as an intern at the United States Capitol, as William Cohen's congressional assistant.
Lagarde is a former member of the French national synchronised swimming team.

Baker & McKenzie
Lagarde joined Baker & McKenzie in 1981. She joined the executive committee in 1995 and was elected Chairman in October 1999.
In 2004, Lagarde became president of the global strategic committee.
Her personal interest in European affairs led her to open the European Law Centre, an office of Baker & McKenzie in Brussels exclusively dedicated to the practice of European Union law.
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