Christine Lagarde

European Central Bank


French economist and lawyer Christine Lagarde has a number of achievements under her belt – including being the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy and the first woman to head both the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – and, according to Forbes 2019 and 2020, could be considered the second most powerful woman in the world. Lagarde rose through the ranks of international law firm Baker & McKenzie, handling major antitrust and labour cases, before becoming Minister of Foreign Trade, Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry (where she made waves by opposing France’s 35-hour week). She became Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 2011 to 2019 (her term was marred by a 2016 guilty verdict of negligence in the arbitration of French businessman Bernard Tapie), and joined the European Central Bank with the onset of the Von der Leyen Commission. Stating her key aims as reviewing the ECB’s monetary policy framework and fighting climate change, Lagarde has managed to complete an impressive strategy review during her two years in post, gaining unanimous support for her commitment to a two percent inflation target.