Born In: Paris, France
Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician who is currently serving as president of the European Central Bank. She took office in this position in 2019. Before that, she was the 11th managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Active in politics for a long time, she has held numerous posts in the Government of France. She was the minister of the economy, finance, and industry from 2007 to 2011, the first woman to hold these posts. Born into a family of teachers, she was academically inclined as a young girl and studied at the law school at Paris Nanterre University. She also obtained a master's degree from Sciences Po Aix. She went on to pursue a highly successful legal career and became the first female chairperson of the multinational law firm Baker & McKenzie. She eventually entered politics and went on to have an equally prolific political career, holding several prestigious positions in the Government of France. In 2011, she was appointed as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work. She has been the subject of controversy as well and was convicted of negligence in allowing the misuse of public funds.
Also Known As: Christine Madeleine Odette Lallouette
Spouse/Ex-: Eachran Gilmour, Wilfried Lagarde, Xavier Giocanti, Wilfried Lagarde (m. 1982–1992)
father: Robert Lallouette
mother: Nicole Lallouette
children: Pierre-Henri Lagarde, Thomas Lagarde
Partner: Xavier Giocanti (2006–)
Born Country: France
Notable Alumni: Paris Nanterre University, Sciences Po Aix
education: Sciences Po Aix, Paris Nanterre University, Holton-Arms School
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Christine Lagarde was born on 1 January 1956 in Paris, France. Her father, Robert Lallouette, was an English teacher, while her mother, Nicole (Carré), was a Latin, Greek, and French literature teacher.
She has three younger brothers. The family lived in Le Havre when the children were growing up. She went to Lycée François 1er and Lycée Claude Monet.
She was a good student as a teenager and was also a member of the French national synchronized swimming team. She completed her baccalauréat in 1973 and received an American Field Service scholarship to attend the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland.
While studying in the United States, she began interning at the US Capitol as Representative William Cohen's congressional assistant.
She studied English, labour law, and social law at the Paris West University Nanterre La Défense. She also has a master’s degree from the Institut d'études politiques in Aix-en-Provence.
Christine Lagarde joined the international law firm, Baker & McKenzie, in 1981. She joined as an associate and handled antitrust and labor cases. She was a brilliant lawyer and was made a partner in the firm in 1987. In 1995, she joined the executive committee and was made the organization's first female chairman in October 1999. She was re-elected in 2002.
She was also a member of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). In this position, she led the US-Poland Defense Industry Working Group and promoted the interests of aircraft companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing against those of Dassault Aviation and Airbus.
In 2005, Christine Lagarde was appointed as France’s trade minister in Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’s government. She focused on opening new markets for France’s products and developing the technology sector.
In 2007, she became minister for agriculture and fisheries under the administration of Prime Minister François Fillon. Later the same year, she joined the cabinet in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment. She became the first woman in the entire Group of Eight economies to hold the position of minister of finance.
She implemented numerous liberal economic reforms, including lowering estate taxes and liberalizing the labor market. She criticized the country’s 35-hour workweek, calling it a symbol of indolence. She also called for a stronger work ethic.
She announced her candidacy to be the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May 2011. She received support from the United States, British, Indian, Russian, Chinese, German, and Brazilian governments for her candidature. The governor of the Bank of Mexico, Agustín Carstens, was also a candidate for the same post.
Christine Lagarde was chosen by the IMF board as its next managing director and chairman in June 2011. She took office on 5 July 2011. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called her appointment "a victory for France." She was re-elected in 2016.
In July 2019, the European Council nominated her to succeed Mario Draghi as President of the European Central Bank (ECB). She emerged victorious by a large margin in the election held by the European Parliament in September.
She assumed office as President of the European Central Bank on 1 November 2019. In this position, she stated that she was willing to involve the ECB in fighting climate change. She also said that she will review the ECB's monetary policy framework.
Christine Lagarde was involved in a controversy regarding a €403 million arbitration deal in favor of Bernard Tapie, a businessman when she was finance minister. The French police even raided her Paris apartment as part of the investigation. The Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) found her guilty of negligence in allowing the misuse of public funds.
As France’s finance minister, Christine Lagarde implemented numerous reforms to boost the economy. She took steps to accelerate the development of the technology sector and liberalized the labor market. She advocated for a stronger work ethic in the country and condemned France’s 35-hour workweek.
Christine Lagarde was featured in the 2010 documentary film Inside Job. The film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Her character was portrayed by actress Laila Robins in the HBO TV film Too Big to Fail in 2011. The movie was based on the non-fiction book of the same name authored by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Christine Lagarde was married to Wilfried Lagarde from 1982 to 1992. She has two sons from this marriage: Pierre-Henri Lagarde (born 1986) and Thomas Lagarde (born 1988).
In 2006, she began a relationship with entrepreneur Xavier Giocanti.
She is health-conscious and leads an active lifestyle. She exercises regularly and enjoys cycling and swimming in her leisure time.
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