By iMFdirect

The IMF has a new managing director, Christine Lagarde, France’s (now) former finance minister, to head the global lender as the world’s economy slowly recovers.

Lagarde will hit the ground running on July 5, and faces a very full inbox.

“The IMF has a lot on its plate and faces an uneven world recovery, the reopening of global imbalances, potentially destabilizing capital flows, high level of unemployment, rising inflation, and difficult country cases,” said Lagarde in her interview for the job with the IMF’s 24-member Executive Board on June 22. 

Lagarde also addressed thorny issues surrounding her candidacy head on.

“I am not here to represent the interest of any given region of the world, but rather the entire membership,” said Lagarde. “As a Governor to the IMF, I am on record for having supported a selection process regardless of nationality. As a consequence, being French and being European should be neither an advantage nor a handicap.”

The then candidate to become managing director added a personal touch to her pitch to lead the global institution.

“I stand here as a woman, hoping to add to the diversity and balance of this institution.

I stand here as former head of an international law firm with a dedication to integrity, to the highest moral standards and a belief in participative management.

I stand here as a Finance minister who has been tested in times of crisis.

I would like to put these skills and experience at work to serve the International Monetary Fund,” she said.

In a television interview in Paris last night on France’s TF1, Lagarde, selected by consensus, said her first priority on arrival at the IMF will be to meet with staff.

“The first thing I’d like to do is bring together the staff to give them confidence, courage and energy so we can get to work.”

Here are a couple of outside comments on her appointment—from Paul Krugman and Mohamed El-Erian.