French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was elected the managing director of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday. She is the first woman to head the IMF since the institution began in 1944.
The 24-member IMF executive board interviewed the final two candidates for the position, Mexican central bank governor Agustin Carstens and Lagarde, last week. “Based on the candidate profile that had been established, the Executive Board, after considering all relevant information on the candidacies, proceeded to select Ms. Lagarde by consensus,” the IMF said in a statement.
Lagarde began campaigning for the post shortly after the previous managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resigned in May amid allegations that he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid. Lagarde's selection was widely expected after she won the support of China, Brazil, Russia, and the United States. Carstens received endorsements from Canada and Australia.
Lagarde’s five-year term begins July 5. The looming possibility of a Greek default and European debt crisis will likely top her agenda this summer.