June 28, 2011
By Ted Regencia
CHICAGO — French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde made history Tuesday by becoming the first female managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and her appointment received wide praise in Chicago, where she once served as chairman of one of the world’s largest law firms.
At the same time, international finance experts agree Lagarde’s leadership and financial skills will be immediately tested with the current crisis in Greece that is threatening to undermine Europe and the entire global economy.
“Christine was an effective leader who used her intellect, discipline and diplomacy to take our firm to new heights,” the law firm Baker & McKenzie said in a statement to Xinhua. “As the first female chair of a global law firm, she inspired so many of us with her grace, humanity and consensus-building approach, leaving a lasting impact on our firm and on the legal profession.”
Those skills would prove helpful as Lagarde navigates the turbulent current economic and political landscape, said Prof. Martin Eichenbaum, co-director of the Center for International Economics and Development at Chicago’s Northwestern University.
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