Who is Christine Lagarde? The woman who rolled her eyes at Ivanka Trump is now set to take Europe’s most important monetary position

Ivanka Trump Christine Lagarde imf

  • Lagarde, who is currently head of the IMF, was an unexpected nomination going into discussions in Brussels. 
  • She is set to become the first female head of the bank.
  • To Americans who don’t follow economic policy, she is perhaps better known as the woman who rolled her eyes at Ivanka Trump’s attempt to get in on a conversation with world leaders.
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She might be better known to Americans as the woman who acting visibly irritated by Ivanka Trump at the G20 summit last week. Now, she’s set to become the first woman to head the European Central Bank. 

Who is Christine Lagarde? 

The current managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Lagarde’s nomination came after weeks of discussion with top EU officials and was largely unexpected, given she has no prior experience in monetary policy and is not an economist.

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday that she would make “a perfect president of the European Central Bank,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last week during a meeting at the G20, Lagarde was filmed speaking to French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, while being visibly annoyed that President Trump’s daughter was attempting to get in on the conversation. 

 

Lagarde has become known for alliance building and negotiating skills in global finance circles as well as a champion for female empowerment.

She has fans across Europe — as head of the IMF she built a strong relationship with Germany. In France and southern Europe, her French Treasury past and activist monetary policy thinking will give hope across the eurozone. 

Read more: ‘He has a point’: Christine Lagarde tackled Trump’s trade war, climate change, and the gender pay gap on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah

In her time at the IMF, she rebuilt confidence in the fund, after the problems that came with bailing out the Greek economy, and later coming to the aid of Argentina in the form of a $57 billion bailout.

She would be taking over from the man known as “Super Mario” in Brussels, Mario Draghi, who has risen as a dominant figure himself in the global economy during his nearly eight years at the ECB.

Luckily for Lagarde, she has a knack for exceeding expectations — something she will need to continue the legacy of her predecessor, noted for his “whatever it takes policy” that investors have said lead to an impressive reign as head of the ECB.

She has also become a figure of women’s empowerment, becoming the first female head of the IMF when she took the role in 2011. Then, like now, there were doubts whether a former lawyer could successfully run the Washington-based organisation. 

On Twitter, Lagarde said: “I am honored to have been nominated for the ECB Presidency,” adding that she would be temporarily stepping down as managing director of the IMF during the nomination process. 

On a recent appearance on the Daily Show, Lagarde spoke about how investing in education, infrastructure and health boosts economic growth. 

Formal approval of her appointment will take place in the coming months, as EU officials will decide officially who takes the role through a number of procedural moves. 

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen was also nominated president of the European Commission, which would make her the first woman in that role.

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