Christine Lagarde, the first woman to serve as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will be the speaker at Smith College’s 136th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18, at 10 a.m. in the campus Quadrangle.
After serving as the Minister of Finance for France, Lagarde was appointed in 2011 as the 11th Managing Director of the IMF. As the head of the 188-country organization, Lagarde has worked to address a broad array of global issues including the European economic crisis, international financial issues and the underrepresentation of women in the economic and financial spheres.
Named by Forbes magazine as the seventh most powerful woman in the world, Lagarde was the first female and first non-American chair of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie, where she covered labor and antitrust cases. Lagarde was later named France’s Minister of Commerce and Industry in 2005 before becoming the Minister of Agriculture and then Minister of Finance in 2007.
The first woman to serve as a finance minister in a G-7 country, Lagarde became chair of the G-20 when France took over the organization’s presidency in 2011. During her time as chair, Lagarde launched a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system.
Born in Paris, Lagarde earned a master’s degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix en Provence and graduated from law school at Paris West University Nanterre La Défense. Christine Lagarde was named Officier in the Légion d'honneur in April 2012.
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December 15, 2011
Christine Lagarde was a featured speaker at the inaugural colloquium of the Women in Public Service Project, launched in 2011 as a partnership of the U.S. Department of State and Smith, Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke and Wellesley colleges. Left to right: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Christine Lagarde; Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer; and Smith President Carol Christ.