The long awaited appointment of the new chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was finally realized today, with the selection of French Finance minister, Christine Lagarde.
Ever since former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned in May following his arrest in New York on rape charges involving a hotel maid, Lagarde has been considered to be a front-runner for the position.
The 55-year old French woman will begin her new duties as managing director of the IMF on July 5 for a five-year term.
The IMF board said in the statement it “looks forward to Ms. Lagarde effectively leading” the organization.
She takes on a new post at a difficult time, as a debt crisis in Europe lingers on and concerns grow over a default by Greece, in addition to concerns over global economic recovery.
“Minister Lagarde’s exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indispensable institution at a critical time for the global economy,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.
The first female IMF chief was carefully selected over Agustin Carstens who is Mexico’s Central Bank Governor, as well as over a South African candidate. However, strong support from the United States and emerging market economies such as China, Brazil and Russia assured Lagarde get the post.
“The executive board, after considering all relevant information on the candidacies, proceeded to select Ms. Lagarde by consensus,” the IMF said in a statement.