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CHRISTINE LAGARDE, Minister for Economy, Finance and Employment

Published on January 15, 2008

Christine Lagarde was appointed Minister for Economy, Finance and Employment on June 19th 2007, in the second Government of Prime Minister François Fillon.

Born in Paris in 1956, Christine Lagarde completed her undergraduate studies in Le Havre. She then obtained degrees in Social Law (University of Paris X), and Master degrees from the Institute of Political Studies (Aix en Provence), and the Holton Arms School (Bethesda, USA).

After being admitted as a lawyer to the Paris Bar, Christine Lagarde joined the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie as an associate, specializing in Labour and Anti-trust Law. Mrs Lagarde became Chairman of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & Mckenzie in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004. Under her leadership, Baker & McKenzie increased their gross revenues by 50 %, and ended the fiscal year 2004 at USD 1.228bln.

In 2004, Christine Lagarde was ranked the 30th most influential woman in the world by Forbes magazine, and the 5th best European executive woman by The Wall Street Journal Europe.

Asked by the French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, to join his Government in June 2005, Christine Lagarde decided to put her skills and work experience to the service of her country. Her nomination as Minister of Foreign Trade allowed Mrs Lagarde to use her negotiation skills during the World Trade Organisation talks. She also promoted French exportations. After a brief stint as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries under the newly elected President Nicolas Sarkozy she became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G 7 country thanks to the ministerial reshuffle of June 2007. Her nomination was widely acclaimed in the international press.

Mrs Lagarde has also a great sportmanship reputation - she was a member of the French national team of synchronyzed swimming.

Mrs Lagarde has two sons.

She is Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur.

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