Family: Lagarde has twice been divorced and has two sons. Since 2006 she has been with entrepreneur Xavier Giocanti from Marseille, France.
Where is she from? Lagarde was born in Paris and moved to Le Havre where she spent most of her childhood.
Previous Jobs: Partner at Baker McKenzie, a Chicago law firm, French Minister for Agriculture and also Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry, head of the IMF.
How did Lagarde get to where she is now?
She may be best known to many Americans for seeming visibly irritated by Ivanka Trump at last week’s G20 summit, is now set to become the first woman to head the European Central Bank. But who is she?
Officially trained as a lawyer, she joined Chicago law firm Baker McKenzie in 1981 and was made partner after six years. In 2005, she assumed office in France as Minister of Commerce. She would be part of the French government until 2011 as Minister of Agriculture and later Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry. In 2011 Lagarde was appointed managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
Her nomination was largely unexpected, given that she has no experience in monetary policy and is not an economist.
Viewpoints? Lagarde has become known for alliance building and for her negotiating skills in global finance circles as well as a champion for female empowerment. On a recent appearance on “The Daily Show,” Lagarde discussed how investing in education, infrastructure, and health boosted economic growth. She is also described as a health conscious vegetarian who rarely drinks alcohol and regularly exercises.
Notable moments at the IMF: She rebuilt confidence in the IMF after the problems that came with bailing out the Greek economy and writing off large amounts of the country’s debt. Later, she came to the aid of Argentina in the form of a $57 billion bailout. In 2016 Lagarde was found guilty by the French Court of Justice of the Republic over a negligence case which lasted five years, but was not penalised.
As head of the IMF she built a strong relationship with Germany, and she has fans across Europe. In France and southern Europe, her French Treasury past and activist monetary policy thinking will give hope across the eurozone.
What is she inheriting at the ECB? She would be taking over from the man known as “Super Mario” in Brussels, Mario Draghi, who has risen as a dominant figure in the global economy during his nearly eight years at the ECB. He’s noted for his “whatever it takes policy” which investors have said led to an impressive reign as head of the ECB.
What has she said since? “I am honored to have been nominated for the ECB Presidency,” Lagarde said on Twitter, adding that she would be temporarily stepping down as managing director of the IMF during the nomination process.
When will she be officially head of the ECB? Formal approval of her appointment is set to take place in the coming months, as EU officials will decide officially who takes the role through a number of procedural moves.
The European Council’s president, Donald Tusk, said on Tuesday that she would make “a perfect president of the European Central Bank,” according to The Wall Street Journal.