Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde (French: [kʁistin madlɛn ɔdɛt laɡaʁd]; née Lallouette, IPA: [laluɛt]; born 1 January 1956 in Paris) is a French lawyer and Union for a Popular Movement politician who has been the Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 5 July 2011. Previously, she held various ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment and before that Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy, and is the first woman to head the IMF.
A noted antitrust and labour lawyer, Lagarde became 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 in the Eurozone. On 28 June 2011, she was named as the next MD of the IMF for a five-year term, starting on 5 July 2011, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Her appointment is the 11th consecutive appointment of a European to head the IMF. In 2014, Lagarde was ranked the 5th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.
Lagarde was born in Paris, France, into a family of academics. Her father, Robert Lallouette, was a Professor of English; her mother, Nicole, was a Latin teacher. Lagarde and her three brothers, all younger, spent their childhood in Le Havre where she attended the Lycée François 1er and Lycée Claude Monet. As a teenager, Lagarde was a member of the French national synchronised swimming team. After her baccalauréat in 1973, she went on an American Field Service scholarship to the Holton-Arms School for girls in Bethesda, Maryland. During her year in America, Lagarde worked as an intern at the United States Capitol, as Representative William Cohen’s congressional assistant, helping him correspond with his French-speaking constituents during the Watergate hearings. She graduated from 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. Since 2010, she has presided over Sciences Po Aix’s board of directors. She also prepared for École nationale d’administration’s entrance exam but ultimately failed to gain admission to the elite public administration school.
Lagarde 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.
A vegetarian, who rarely drinks alcohol, Lagarde’s hobbies include regular trips to the gym, cycling, and swimming. title