French Finance Minister Lagarde to lead IMF

WASHINGTON

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.

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