French finance minister Christine Lagarde on Tuesday became the first woman to lead the International Monetary Fund as it recovers from a sex scandal involving the man she’ll replace.
When Lagarde begins a five-year term next week, Lagarde will take charge of a melting pot of international elites – one that was known for male-dominated clubbiness well before the scandal involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn, her predecessor. In her remarks to French television, she spoke to the cultural shift her selection represents.
“While I was being questioned for three hours by 24 men, I thought, ‘It’s good that things are changing a little,'” she said, refering to her interview for the top job at the international lending institution.
Not everything will change. Lagarde will become the 11th European to lead the IMF, extending a streak that began with the organization’s creation in 1945. Among the challenges that await her, she must prod fellow Europeans to take painful steps to prevent a default by Greece. She’ll also face pressure from developing nations that want a greater voice at the IMF.
“I am deeply honored by the trust placed in me,” Lagarde said in a statement in Paris after the vote.
-Credited from AP