An anti-trust and labour lawyer, Christine Lagarde was the first female chair of major international law firm Baker & McKenzie, between 1999 and 2004. Born into a family of academics, as a teenager, Christine was a member of the French national synchronised swimming team.
A successful politician, she held various senior ministerial posts in the French government: Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment, Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade.
In 2011, Christine took over as managing director of the scandal-plagued International Monetary Fund. She has tried to change the IMF’s culture while also coping with the European debt crisis and a sluggish global economy. Highly respected for her work, she was re-elected by consensus for a second five-year term in 2016.
In 2014, Lagarde was named the fifth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.