Obama Administration Backs Lagarde To Lead IMF

Jun 28, 2011 9:39am

ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) Reports:

The Obama administration announced today that the U.S. is throwing its support behind French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to take over as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was ousted from the position amid accusations of sexual assault last month.

“Minister Lagarde’s exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indispensable institution at a critical time for the global economy,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a written statement.

By endorsing Lagarde, the U.S. essentially guarantees she will win the position over Mexico’s central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, who Geithner commended for “his strong and very credible candidacy.” Lagarde would be the first woman at the helm of the lending organization.

The U.S., which has the largest vote on the IMF’s board, has been silent until now about who should replace Strauss-Kahn. Geithner said today that the administration was “encouraged by the broad support” that Lagarde secured from the Fund’s membership, including emerging economies.

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