Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde born 1 January 1956 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, Finances and Industry and before that Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde was the first woman ever to become finance minister of a G8 economy, and is the first woman to ever head the IMF.
A noted antitrust and labor 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 2011, Lagarde was ranked the 8th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. On 29 October Lagarde accepted an honorary doctoral degree from the KU Leuven, in Courtray.