Christine Lagarde – WOMAN of ACTION™



A Celebration of Women™

is inspired to Celebrate the Life of one of our world’s leading women in social change.

This trail blazer has risen to the top through her own due diligence, and has landed as Chairman of our world’s International Monetary Fund. It is an honor and pleasure to share with the women of our world through this tribute of one woman’s beginnings, the journey of her vision and mission in life of this divorced single mother of two.


This is definitely a woman working for positive change in our world. “The woman is definitely the future of mankind!”




Christine Lagarde

Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde (French: [kʁistin madlɛn ɔdɛt lagaʁd]) (née Lallouette, IPA: [laluɛt]; born 1 January 1956) is a French lawyer and Union for a Popular Movement politician who has been the Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 5 July 2011.

Lagarde was born in Paris, France into a family of devoutly Catholic, bourgeois academics. Her father Robert Lallouette was a Professor of English; her mother Nicole was a Latin teacher. Lagarde and her three brothers, all younger, spent their childhood in Le Havre where she attended the Lycée François 1er and Lycée Claude Monet.

holton_crest_founded_294As a teenager, Lagarde was a member of the French national synchronized swimming team. She says the experience taught her to “hold her breath” but also to work well in organized teams.

However, in her late teens, two formative events occurred. First, her father died, leaving her widowed mother supporting the family at the age of 38. “My mother was a very strong character,” Lagarde recalls, explaining that she “learned a lot from her”.

Another crucial female role model was her grandmother, “a nurse in the first world war and an amazing person, who emancipated herself from a marriage she did not like.”

The second life-changing event occurred when the young Christine won a scholarship to study for a year at the exclusive Holton-Arms school in Bethesda, near Washington, where she learnt English and, more importantly, became enmeshed in Anglo-Saxon traditions and thinking. After her baccalauréat in 1973, she went on an American Field Service scholarship to the Holton-Arms School for girls in Bethesda, Maryland.

She subsequently did an internship for a US senator in Washington, but then studied law at the University Paris X. She then graduated from law school at University Paris X, and obtained a Master’s degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix en Provence.

Grace_Building_New_YorkAfter that, she applied to enter the Ecole Nationale D’Administration, (ENA) the institute that is the crucial breeding ground for French civil servants.

To her chagrin, however, she was rejected twice.

So, after a master’s degree in political science, she joined the large American law firm Baker & McKenzie in Paris in 1981.

During her year in America, Lagarde worked as an intern at the United States Capitol, as Representative William Cohen’s congressional assistant, helping him correspond with his French-speaking constituents during the Watergate hearings.

Christine Lagarde was named Chevalier in the Légion d’honneur in July 2000.

She graduated from law school at Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, and obtained a Master’s degree in English and labor law from the Institut d’études politiques d’Aix-en-Provence (Sciences Po Aix).

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 Labor, Anti-trust, and Mergers & Acquisitions. A member of the Executive Committee of the Firm in 1995, Christine Lagarde became the Chairman of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004.

Christine Lagarde joined the French government in June 2005 as Minister for Foreign Trade. After a brief stint as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, in June 2007 she became the ‘first woman‘ to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G-7 country. From July to December 2008, she also chaired the ECOFIN Council, which brings together Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Union.

Since 2010, she has presided over the Institute’s board of directors.

Christine Lagarde in her youthLagarde is twice divorced and has two sons, Pierre-Henri Lagarde (born 1986) and Thomas Lagarde (born 1988).

Since 2006, her partner has been the entrepreneur Xavier Giocanti from Marseille.

She is a vegetarian and very rarely drinks alcohol. Her hobbies include regular trips to the gym, cycling and swimming.

A former member of the French national team for synchronized swimming, Christine Lagarde is the mother of two sons.

In 2009, Christine Lagarde was ranked the 17th ‘most influential woman in the world‘ by Forbes magazine, the 5th best European executive woman by The Wall Street Journal Europe, and became one of Time magazine’s top-100 world leaders.


The Financial Times named her European Finance Minister of 2009.

In July 2010, Lagarde told the PBS NewsHour that the IMF lending project was “a very massive plan, totally unexpected, totally counter-treaty, because it wasn’t scheduled in the treaty that we should do a bailout program, as we did.

She also said,

“we had essentially a trillion dollars on the table to confront any market attack that would target any country, whether it’s Greece, Spain, Portugal, or anybody within the euro-zone.”

With respect to the French economy, she stated that besides short-term stimulus efforts: “we must, very decisively, cut our deficit and reduce our debt.”

In public remarks made right after her appointment, Lagarde stated that both the IMF and EU require Greek austerity measures as a prerequisite for further aid. She said, “If I have one message tonight about Greece, it is to call on the Greek political opposition to support the party that is currently in power in a spirit of national unity.”

On 25 December 2011, Lagarde argued that the world economy was at risk and urged Europeans to unify in terms of the debt crisis facing the continent. As a member of the G-20, Christine Lagarde was involved in the Group’s management of the financial crisis, helping to foster international policies related to financial supervision and regulation and to strengthen global economic governance. As Chairman of the G-20 when France took over its presidency for the year 2011, she launched a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system.

AdamSmithQuestioned about her economic philosophy, Lagarde has described herself as “with Adam Smith — that is, liberal.”

Previously, she held various ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry and before that Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin.

Lagarde was the ‘first woman ever’ to become finance minister of a G8 economy, and is the first woman to ever head the IMF.

A noted antitrust and labor lawyer, Lagarde became the first female chairman of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie. On 16 November 2009, the Financial Times ranked her the best Minister of Finance in the Eurozone.

On 28 June 2011, she was named as the next MD of the IMF for a five-year term, starting on 5 July 2011, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Her appointment is the 11th consecutive appointment of a European to head the IMF.

In 2011, Lagarde was also ranked the 8th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. On 29 October Lagarde accepted an honorary doctoral degree from the KU Leuven, in Courtray.

christine lagarde imfChristine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund

Lagarde at Washington news conference: ‘We stopped the collapse, we should avoid a relapse, and it’s not time to relax’ (IMF photo)

Christine Lagarde took the helm of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July 2011, serving as the first female managing director of the organization, which promotes international monetary cooperation and exchange rate stability.

Ms. Lagarde, who has a background in law and formerly served as France’s finance minister, was chosen for the leadership role after the arrest of former head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was accused of sexual assault during a visit to the United States.

As head of the IMF during the eurozone crisis, Lagarde has overseen the multibillion euro bailouts of several European countries and called for the initially unpopular, but now widely supported, mandatory restructuring of debt in European banks.


The outspoken leader has blamed the 2008 global financial crisis in part on the “male-dominated, testosterone-fueled culture” of the international banking industry.


Christine Lagarde: ‘Women can’t have it all’

IMF head Christine Lagarde says “Women must accept that there will be “failures” if they attempt to juggle a career and raise children at the same time.”

Women Leaders will seem to have to accept more personal sacrifice than her male counterpart. It is imperative that our young women are aware and educated to these challenges, during their formative years.

Despite her success, last night she warned that women who attempt to chase a career and raise a family at the same time would run into trouble.

woman_juggling_rolesLagarde rose quickly through the ranks, impressing everyone with her determination and competence. But within a few years, she encountered the classic female “juggle”: after marrying in her twenties (the marriage did not last) she had a son when she was 30, and then a second son two years later, just after being promoted to partner.

“I am an old timer – in those days we [working women] just had to prove ourselves and get on and be brave,” she recalls.

“I was working until the last minute for both of my pregnancies and my children were very clever to be born in May and June, so I was able to take the summer off and do the breastfeeding, and then go back to work after the summer.

“I would say that in general it is easier in France than in the US to be a working mother – there is not the same kindergarten system as in France,” she adds. “I am happy to say that at the Fund there is a crèche – if you come to the Fund early in the morning, you will see babies, lots of babies in the foyer, being brought in!”


She continued her rise unabated, juggling children and career.

She admits that she was never a “tiger mother”, since she “just didn’t have the time” to spend hours supervising her sons’ homework.

“There is always the guilt, of course. But it is who I am. For me the best moment is when your child gets older and tells you that they value what you have done, rather than you being always with them. When [one of her sons] was 11, he said that to me – it was a very important moment for me.”

working mothersIn an interview with American television network NBC Miss Lagarde said: “I think you cannot have it at the same time. I think you can in a way have it all as long as you can afford to be patient. But you cannot have it all at the same time. You must accept there will be failures.

She has been praised by many western leaders for her cool head and persistent style. Here are some thoughts from a few male world leaders about our placing our world’s financial leadership in the hands of this WOMAN:

Wherever she has worked, she has had a strong voice and impact,” Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, observed earlier this year.

Meanwhile, shortly after her appointment, Timothy Geithner, US treasury secretary, commended her “broad experience” – and the fact that when she had been French finance minister, she had engaged successfully with the wider community while also defending French interests with a passion.

George Osborne, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, has declared himself a fan, calling her appointment “good news for the global economy and Britain”, since she is “the best person for the job”.


‘Male domination’ in the business sectors is made easy when even in our modern world, it is said that only women can raise children.  Being one of the most important facets of our existence, raising of our children – our world’s future, is stated to still be the expected function of women.

  • Is this a compliment to women?
  • Are men not willing or to stay at home or capable of raising our world’s future?


In closing … Christine is a WOMAN !!!

christine-lagarde (1)

Christine Lagarde , loves fashion and fashion houses in Paris.

For Christine Lagarde fashion is a flagship French. She confides in La Tribune: “My mother was a seamstress peerless. She gave me a sense of elegance with quite a few ways, which is fairly typical of the Parisian, as romantically conceived to outside. “.

Christine Lagarde opted for a fashion classic and elegant. Point of extravagance, but safe securities such as pearl necklaces, jackets Chanel, tailors skirt and bag Kelly. Lagarde also for cracked heels Louboutin.

She even confesses a beautiful collection of Having proper footwear.

Favoring black and white for her wardrobe, it is not uncommon to see opt for colors that stand out.

In her personal womanhood, her partner of over six years, Xavier Giocanti, the entrepreneur since 2006, has learned to live in the shadow of the Minister of Economy. While the former lawyer traveled the world and managed the cascading crises, the contractor continued its existence in discretion in Marseille.

But no matter the time difference as their hearts still beat in unison.


People talk about Lagarde with admiration that borders on hero worship. She “radiates charm”, she “oozes respect”; she’s described variously as intelligent, beautiful, upstanding and elegant. In short, they usually conclude, “elle a de la classe”.

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A Celebration of Women™

is honored to welcome this powerhouse into our Alumni through this tribute.


Brava Christine!



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