Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde

At this dark moment for Europe, the thoughts of the ECB’s Governing Council are with the people of Ukraine.
The ECB is closely monitoring the evolving situation. It will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the economic outlook, which will include these latest developments and which will form the basis of its policy meeting on 10 March.

Christine Lagarde’s statement on the war in Ukraine

The ECB will ensure smooth liquidity conditions and access of citizens to cash.
The ECB will implement the sanctions decided by the EU and the European governments.
The ECB stands ready to take whatever action is needed to fulfil its responsibilities to ensure price stability and financial stability in the euro area.

Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank

Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde née Lallouette, born in 1956, is a French politician and lawyer who is the current president of the European Central Bank, a position she has held since the 1 November 2019. Prior to this appointment and between July 2011 and September 2019, she was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde was born in Paris, France, into a family of teachers. Her father, Robert Lallouette, was a professor of English; her mother, Nicole (Carré), was a Latin, Greek and French literature teacher. Lagarde and her three younger brothers spent their childhood in Le Havre. There she attended the Lycée François 1er (where her father taught) and Lycée Claude Monet. As a teenager, Lagarde was a member of the French national synchronized swimming team.

After her baccalauréat in 1973, she went on an American Field Service scholarship to the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. During her year in the United States, Lagarde worked as an intern at the U.S. Capitol as Representative William Cohen’s congressional assistant. William Cohen later served as Defence Secretary under President Bill Clinton.
She graduated from Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, where she obtained master’s degrees in English, labour law, and social law. She also holds a master’s degree from the Institut d’études politiques in Aix-en-Provence.

Lagarde joined Baker & McKenzie, a large Chicago-based international law firm, in 1981. She handled major antitrust and labour cases, was made partner after six years and was named head of the firm in Western Europe. She joined the executive committee in 1995 and was elected the company’s first female chairman in October 1999. In 2004, Lagarde became president of the Global Strategic Committee.

Lagarde returned to France in June 2005 to join Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’s government as trade minister before becoming (briefly) minister for agriculture and fisheries in 2007. As trade minister, she encouraged foreign investment in France and the opening of new markets for French products, particularly in the technology sector, helping exporters through the Cap Export mechanism, which she launched in September 2005.
Lagarde held various senior ministerial posts in the Government of France: she was Minister of Foreign Trade (2005–2007), Minister of Agriculture and Fishing (2007) and Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry (2007–2011). Lagarde was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy and is the first woman to head both the ECB and the IMF. A noted antitrust and labour lawyer- On 16 November 2009, the Financial Times ranked her the best finance minister in the Eurozone.
On 5 July 2011, Lagarde replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the IMF for a five-year term. Her appointment was the 11th consecutive appointment of a European to head the IMF. She was re-elected by consensus for a second five-year term, starting 5 July 2016, being the only candidate nominated for the post.

On the 25th May 2011, Lagarde announced her candidacy to be head of director of the International Monetary Fund, she was the first woman to head the Washington-based body. Her candidacy received the support of the British, Indian, United States, Brazilian, Russian, Chinese and German governments.

On the 2nd July 2019, Lagarde was nominated to serve as the next president of the European Central Bank (ECB) to succeed Mario Draghi President from the 1 November 2019. On 17 September 2019, the European Parliament voted via secret ballot to recommend her to the position, with 394 in favor, 206 opposed, and 49 abstentions.

Divorced from Wilfried Lagarde, she is the mother of two children: Pierre-Henri Lagarde (born in 1986, restoration entrepreneur) and Thomas Lagarde (born in 1988, architect). Since 2006, her partner is Xavier Giocanti, a businessman from Marseille. She is a vegetarian. She also likes to find time to cook and do gardening. However, she always had a passion for politics.
She values her femininity as much as she does the brain that has helped her outcompete so many men.
‘I hate to say there are female and male ways of dealing with power, because I think each of us has a male and a female part,’ she told Forbes magazine in 2009. ‘But based on my own experience, women will tend to be inclusive, to reach out more, to care a little more.’