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IMF Director is Commencement Speaker
Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, will be Washington College’s Commencement speaker on May 20.
College President Sheila Bair today announced that Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will give the Commencement Address at Washington College’s 234th Commencement on May 20. An international leader and a trailblazer who has repeatedly transcended barriers in male-dominated fields, Lagarde will receive an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.
“I am thrilled that our seniors will have the opportunity to hear Christine Lagarde speak at their graduation,” says President Bair. “She has long been a role model for young women who aspire to achieve beyond the artificially imposed, but very real, boundaries of gender in many professions. But her accomplishments as a leader in the law, in international monetary policy, and in promoting economic stability as a way to encourage cooperation between nations, clearly eclipse gender and serve as an inspiration to all.”
Appointed to lead the IMF in 2011 and re-elected to a second term in 2016, Lagarde has guided the institution through some of the world’s most challenging economic times in recent history. From 2007-2011, Lagarde served as Finance Minister of France, becoming the first woman to serve as finance minister for any large advanced economy.
In 2016, she was named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.” In the accompanying profile, U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen wrote, “Christine was central to the effort to stabilize Greece’s economy and prevent a wider crisis in Europe. She has spurred economic reform in emerging nations like China that have appropriately gained more of a voice at the IMF. She has also given the IMF a more human face by addressing issues like gender and income inequality and public-health threats like the Ebola virus.”
An accomplished lawyer, Lagarde was the first female chairman of the Chicago-based international law firm Baker and McKenzie. In 2009, the Financial Times named her “Best Finance Minister” in the Eurozone, and Forbes magazine named her the ninth most powerful woman in the world.
Created in 1945 at a United Nations conference, the IMF’s main purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system while working to promote global stability through monetary cooperation, encourage economic growth, and reduce global poverty.
Washington College’s 234th Commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. on May 20 and will be held on the Campus Green, weather permitting.