Leading Ladies

Michele Alliot-Marie
Minister Of Defense
"It's a great victory" that no one at her macho Ministry even talks about her gender, she told Le Figaro last month; competence alone counts, and, by defending her budget, she's won the respect of her ground troops. If Sarkozy wins next May, she has the clout in the party to assure her a top post in his government.

Nicole El Karoui
Math Professor
Few postgraduate degrees have the cachet of one earned under her aegis at the Ecole Polytechnique or the Université...

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