Born in Paris January 1, 1956, Christine Lagarde completed high school in Le Havre and attended Holton Arms School in Bethesda (Maryland, USA). She then graduated from law school at University Paris X, and obtained a Master’s degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix en Provence.
After being admitted as a lawyer to the Paris Bar, Christine Lagarde joined the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie as an associate, specializing in Labor, Anti-trust, and Mergers & Acquisitions. A member of the Executive Committee of the Firm in 1995, Christine Lagarde became the Chairman of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004.
Christine Lagarde joined the French government in June 2005 as Minister for Foreign Trade. After a brief stint as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, in June 2007 she became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G-7 country. From July to December 2008, she also chaired the ECOFIN Council, which brings together Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Union.
As a member of the G-20, Christine Lagarde was involved in the Group’s management of the financial crisis, helping to foster international policies related to financial supervision and regulation and to strengthen global economic governance. As Chairman of the G-20 when France took over its presidency for the year 2011, she launched a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system.
In 2009, Christine Lagarde was ranked the 17th most influential woman in the world by Forbes magazine, the 5th best European executive woman by The Wall Street Journal Europe, and became one of Time magazine’s top-100 world leaders. The Financial Times named her European Finance Minister of 2009.
Christine Lagarde was named Chevalier in the Légion d’honneur in July 2000. A former member of the French national team for synchronized swimming, Christine Lagarde is the mother of two sons.
Christine Madeleine Odette Lallouette Full Biography and Profile
Christine Lagarde Personal Background:
- Birth date: January 1, 1956
- Birth place: Paris, France
- Birth name: Christine Madeleine Odette Lallouette
- Father: Robert Lallouette, a professor of English literature
- Mother: Nicole Lallouette, a professor of French, Latin and ancient Greek
- Marriages: Wilfried Lagarde (1982-1992, divorced); Eachran Gilmour (divorced)
- Children: with Wilfried Lagarde: Thomas and Pierre-Henri
- Education: University Paris X Nanterre, J.D.; Political Science Institute in Aix en Provence, M.A.
Christine Lagarde Other Facts:
- Christine Lagarde is an accomplished synchronized swimmer, and earned a spot on the French national team while in her teens.
- Christine Lagarde speaks French, English and Spanish.
- Christine Lagarde is the first woman chairman at the world’s largest law firm, Baker & McKenzie.
Christine Lagarde Timeline:
- 1981-2005 – Associate and later partner in the Paris office of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie.
- 1999-2005 – Chairman at Baker & McKenzie.
- July 2000 – Is appointed Knight of the Legion of Honour.
- June 2, 2005-May 15, 2007 – Minister of Foreign Trade.
- May 18-June 18, 2007 – Minister of Agriculture, Agribusiness and Forestry.
- June 19, 2007-June 28, 2011 – Is the first woman to serve as the Minister of Finance, Economy and Trade in France.
- June 28, 2011 – Is appointed as IMF Managing Director and Madame Chairman of the Executive Board, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
- July 5, 2011 – Begins her five-year term as managing director of the IMF. The IMF discloses that Lagarde will receive an annual salary of $467,940 after taxes and an annual allowance of $83,760 for living expenses.
- March 20, 2013 – Lagarde’s Paris home is searched as part of an investigation into her role in settling a business dispute while she was finance minister.
- August 27, 2014 – Lagarde announces she has been placed under formal investigation in France for her alleged involvement in a long-running fraud case that stems from 2008 when she was finance minister under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Prosecutors believe that Lagarde was negligent in dealing with a case in which a supporter of Sarkozy — Bernard Tapie — was awarded a settlement worth 285 million euros plus interest. Prosecutors believe Lagarde gave Tapie preferential treatment.
- December 17, 2015 – It is announced that Lagarde has been ordered to appear in court over her alleged involvement in the Bernard Tapie fraud case.
- May 15, 2016 – A French newspaper publishes an open letter signed by 17 leading women from government, including Lagarde, that says the behavior of France’s male elite must change. The letter states that while their political beliefs span a broad spectrum, they stand united. “We defend different ideas, but we share the will that sexism has no place in our society.”
- July 2016 – Lagarde is appointed to her second five-year term as the Managing Director of the IMF.
- July 22, 2016 – It is decided in a French court that Lagarde must stand trial over her handling of a long-running fraud case involving the rewarding of 285 million euros plus interest of public funds to French businessman Bernard Tapie.
- September 12, 2016 – A French court rejects Lagarde’s appeal and sets a December trial date at a special court that tries ministers for crimes in office.
- December 12, 2016 – Lagarde’s trial begins. She will be taking leave from her job but will still be “working during the evenings and at night with her [IMF] colleagues,” a spokesman said.
- December 19, 2016 – Is found guilty of negligence, but will not be fined or serve any time in jail.
- December 4, 2018 – Forbes ranks Lagarde third on its list of the world’s most powerful women, behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
Ms Lagarde’s main strengths are a mix of hard-working professionalism, an appetite for technical detail, and an ability to get her way with charm rather than bullying. She often seems more at ease at global summits than on the benches of the unruly French National Assembly. It is hard to find anybody who has worked for her in France over the years who has a bad word to say about her.
As a teenager, she was a member of the French national synchronised swimming team, and she likes to joke that this taught her not only teamwork and self-discipline, but also how to hold her breath. Her quick wit, in fluent English as well as French, even managed to win over Jon Stewart when she appeared on the Daily Show, bearing a French beret as a gift. In the past she has said that there was “too much testosterone” in high-powered circles, a comment that now looks prescient.
Christine Lagarde Updates: July 2, 2019: Statement by the Executive Board of the IMF on the Nomination of Managing Director Christine Lagarde as President of the European Central Bank
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the following statement today following the nomination of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde to the presidency of the European Central Bank.
“We, the Executive Board of the IMF, take note of the nomination of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde as President of the European Central Bank. We accept Ms. Lagarde’s decision to relinquish her IMF responsibilities temporarily during the nomination period. We have full confidence in First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton as Acting Managing Director of the IMF.”
- Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde Biography and Profile (Christine Lagarde / CNN)