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French Finance Minister Lagarde to lead IMF

June 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde will lead the International Monetary Fund, making her the first female managing director of the global lending organization.

The Obama administration endorsed Lagarde's selection early Tuesday. Hours later, the IMF's 24-member board voted to appoint her to the position. She had also won support from Europe, China and Russia.

Lagarde takes over at a tumultuous time. Europe's debt crisis is intensifying. Emerging nations want a greater voice at the IMF. And the organization's reputation has been tarred by a scandal involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whom she replaces as leader.

Strauss-Kahn resigned last month after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel housekeeper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.