Case #2137.0

Christine Lagarde (B): Being a Public Servant

Publication Date: August 20, 2018
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This case covers the career of Christine Lagarde from 2005 to 2011 after she joins the French Government. After serving several grueling years as Finance Minister during the financial crises that started in 2007/2008, she is being considered as the next Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As the first female head of the IMF, she would lead a very complex, 187-member organization typically run by economists. The ability to shape better outcomes to some of the world's thorniest problems appeals to her, but she needs to carefully consider the risks. For coverage of Christine Lagarde's evolution from childhood to 2005, see Christine Lagarde (A): A French Prime Minister Calls (2136.0). For coverage of her career from 2011 to 2018, see Christine Lagarde (C): Managing the IMF (2138.0). For comprehensive coverage of her evolution and career, see Christine Lagarde (Extended) (2135.0).

This case includes a 13-min. video with excerpts from an interview with Christine Lagarde where she talks about her early years in the private sector, her experience with gender discrimination, her particular leadership style, and her relationship to power, among other topics. The video is chapterized and can be used as an assignment or played in class.

Other Details

Case Author:
Julie Battilana; Carin Isabel-Knoop
Faculty Lead:
Julie Battilana
Video Producer:
Patricia Garcia-Rios
Harvard Business School