Christine Lagarde

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  • Product Description

    Abstract:
    The case covers the youth and career trajectory of Christine Lagarde, across her time at Baker & McKenzie, as a minister in the Government of France, and as the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The case highlights the challenges and opportunities that she faced during each phase of her career and how she managed them. Lagarde started her career in 1981 as a lawyer at the global law firm Baker & McKenzie, which employed approximately 2,500 lawyers across 35 countries by 1999, when she became the firm's first non-American and female chairman. In 2005, she became France's Minister for Foreign Trade in President Jacques Chirac's administration, and was the EU's de facto finance minister when the financial crisis was most acute. In 2011, she was then selected to head the IMF in 2011. Since 2011, Lagarde built the foundations for the IMF's adaptation to the realities of the twenty-first century. By 2017, shortly after Lagarde began her second term as the Managing Director of the IMF, the world faced pressing issues as a result of the rapidly-evolving, hyper-connected global economy-ongoing recovery from the global financial crisis, the rise of emerging economies, deeper cross-border integration, technological change, and growing wealth and income inequality within countries. These interrelated dynamics were playing out alongside heightened anxiety within the populations of some major advanced economies about what these changes meant for them. The concerns manifested themselves in an inward focus, rumblings of protectionism, and questions about the worth of international cooperation and the multilateral system itself. Lagarde believed that the challenges facing the world economy warranted not less but more global cooperation. In this context, she had to determine how the IMF-as the leading advocate of global economic cooperation since its creation-could better demonstrate its effectiveness. She knew that it was a critical moment.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: Sept 20, 2017
    HKS Case Number: 2134.0
    Case Author: Carin-Isabel Knoop, Vanessa Ampelas, Noemie Assenat
    Faculty Lead: Julie Battilana
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 8
    Setting: France
    Language: English
    Funding Source: HBS
    _pages: 1-15
    _year: 2016-2018
    _geography: Europe
  • Warranty Information

    /review/2134.0.EducatorCopy.pdf

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