Occupation: French Economy, Industry and Employment Minister
Previous TIME 100 Appearances: 1
Lagarde's steady management of France's recession-battered economy and nonpartisan discourse have pundits considering her a leading candidate as a future French premier. A relative newcomer to politics, Lagarde was called to French government in 2005 after serving as the first female chairman of the Chicago-based international law firm Baker & McKenzie. She shone in a range of ministerial roles, and her stewardship of France's economy through the financial crisis and swift exit from recession made her an influential voice on European Union economic matters. In the U.S., meanwhile, Lagarde has won fans ranging from Jon Stewart to Timothy Geithner with her flawless English and playful sense of humor.