News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. June 29, 2001: Emerging market nations, including Latin American giant Brazil, yesterday sided with France’s choice for head of the International Monetary Fund, handing Mexico a defeat.
Mexico’s Agustin Carstens lost his bid for the post of managing director of the IMF, following the resignation of French man Dominique Strauss-Kahn over a sex assault charge in New York.
The post was instead handed to another French national – this time France’s Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, 55. She became the first woman to be named to the top post.
In a statement, the IMF said that its 24-member board regarded both candidates as highly suitable for the job, but had decided on Lagarde “by consensus.” Lagarde also won the votes of China and India.
Carstens said he had sent Lagarde his “best wishes and full support”, adding that he hoped she would “make meaningful progress in strengthening the governance of the institution.”
Carstens, Mexico’s central bank governor, had campaigned on a platform that this time the IMF chief should reflect the emergence of developing nations as an economic force.
Lagarde will serve for a five-year term starting beginning on July 5, 2011.
The managing director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chairman of the Executive Board. The chief executive is assisted by three deputy managing directors in the operation of the Fund, which serves 187 member countries through about 2,700 staff from more than 140 countries.