After no candidates stood to oppose her, Christine Lagarde is set to serve a second term as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. Lagarde, whose term was set to expire July 5, became the first woman to head the IMF in 2011.
“The period for submitting nominations for the position of the next managing director closed on Wednesday, Feb. 10. One candidate, current Managing Director Christine Lagarde, has been nominated,” said Aleksei Mozhin, the dean of the executive board of the IMF, in a statement.
The top position at the IMF was opened to other candidates Jan. 20, but no one came forward to take the top job at the international financial institution. Now with 188 member states, the IMF was created during World War II to lend to countries in need and coordinate international monetary policy. Mozhin said the board plans to finish its selection process as soon as possible.
Lagarde, who served as France’s finance minister under then-President Nicolas Sarkozy from 2005 to 2007, faces legal problems at home, with a court deciding in December that she should stand trial over a settlement that was reached with businessman Bernard Tapie while she was in office. She has maintained her innocence in the case, which accuses her of negligence, Bloomberg reported.
Lagarde, 60, will continue to confront numerous challenges: concerns over global market instability, a decision on another Greek bailout program looming and worries over Ukraine’s reform process and political stability that have stalled the IMF’s next loan tranche installment. She became the head of the IMF after Dominique Strauss-Kahn, another French politician, resigned following a scandal in New York, where a hotel maid accused him of sexual assault. Lagarde's appointment broke another international leadership position glass ceiling and she has focused on gender inequality during her term.
“Women’s empowerment is not just a fundamentally moral cause, it is also an absolute economic no-brainer,” Lagarde said in a speech in September. “It holds the potential to boost growth, raise overall per capita income, tackle poverty, and reduce income inequality for people all over the world.”