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Cambridge, MA. – Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will deliver the 2012 graduation address at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She will speak to graduates on May 23.
Lagarde is a highly respected stateswoman, educated in both France and the United States, and the first woman to run the IMF. Prior to her appointment, she served in several top ministerial posts in the French government including Minister of Commerce and Industry (2005-07); Minister of Agriculture and Fishing (2007); and Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment (2007-11). She is the first woman to serve as minister of economic affairs for a G8 country, and was ranked the 9th most powerful woman in the world last year by Forbes magazine. An accomplished lawyer specializing in antitrust and labor law, Lagarde served as the first female chair of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie prior to beginning her career in government service.
As Managing Director of the IMF, Lagarde has been at the center of international efforts to lend support to troubled economies all over the world, including in Europe, arguing on behalf of collective action.
“2012 must be a year of healing,” Lagarde said in a speech delivered in January at the German Council of Foreign Affairs in Berlin. “A cooperative path means that all countries must work together with a common diagnosis toward a common solution.”
“Christine Lagarde is an extraordinarily talented and effective leader whose experience and insight is proving critical at a perilous time for the global economy,” said HKS Dean David T. Ellwood. “We look forward to hearing her wisdom and inspiration as she addresses the members of the Harvard Kennedy School’s graduating Class of 2012.”
Journalists interested in covering the address should contact the Kennedy School Communications Office at (617) 495-1115.