As expected, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced on Wednesday that she will be seeking to lead the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde came to the decision of applying for the post after “mature reflection” and consultating with the French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“If I’m elected I’ll bring all my expertise as a lawyer, a minister, a manager and a woman” to the job, she said.

She indicated she would not focus exclusively on Europe. “No zone has been spared by the financial crisis,” she said. “I want to get the biggest possible consensus for my candidacy.”

Even European countries, including Britain and Germany, have offered their backing to Lagarde to run the IMF.

Lagarde has a reputation at international negotiations to stabilize the world economy during the world financial crisis. She was also seen an instrument in getting the IMF and the EU to agree on rescue plans for Greece, Portugal and Ireland when their debt threatened the entire euro currency.

The decision of the next IMF leader is expected to come out by the end of June. It will be made by 24-member executive board, officially represented by the 187 IMF member countries.

IMF’s last managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, quit last week after he was accused of attempting to rape.