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Frances Christine Lagarde named first woman IMF chief

Washington: French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was on Tuesday elected as the first woman head of the International Monetary Fund, succeeding Dominique Strauss Kahn, who resigned last month after being arrested on sexual assault charges.

Lagarde, 55, is the first woman named to the top IMF post since the institution`s inception in 1944.

"The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today selected Christine Lagarde to serve as IMF Managing Director and Madame Chairman of the Executive Board for a five-year term starting on July 5, 2011," an official IMF announcement said.

The IMF said the selection of Lagarde by the 24-member Executive Board, representing the IMF`s 187 member countries, brings to conclusion the selection process initiated by the Executive Board on May 20.

During the process the Board met with Agustin Carstens of Mexico and Lagarde ? the two aspirants for the post. She also won support from Europe, China and Russia.

"Based on the candidate profile that had been established, the Executive Board, after considering all relevant information on the candidacies, proceeded to select Lagarde by consensus. The Executive Board looks forward to Ms Lagarde effectively leading the International Monetary Fund," it said.

"The IMF has served its 187 member countries well during the global economic and financial crisis, transforming itself in many positive ways. I will make it my overriding goal that our institution continues to serve its entire membership with the same focus and the same spirit," said Lagarde.

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