Clinton Richard Dawkins, is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008. Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. With his book The Extended Phenotype, he introduced into evolutionary biology the influential concept that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not limited to an organism's body, but can stretch far into the environment. In 2006, he founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science. Dawkins is known as an outspoken atheist, he is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. In The Blind Watchmaker, he argues against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker, in that reproduction and selection are unguided by any designer.
In The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion. Dawkins has been awarded many prestigious academic and writing awards, he makes regular television and Internet appearances, predominantly discussing his books, his atheism, his ideas and opinions as a public intellectual. Dawkins was born in Nairobi in British Kenya, on 26 March 1941, he is the son of Jean Mary Vyvyan and Clinton John Dawkins, an agricultural civil servant in the British Colonial Service in Nyasaland, of an Oxfordshire landed gentry family. His father was called up into the King's African Rifles during World War II and returned to England in 1949, when Dawkins was eight, his father had inherited a country estate, Over Norton Park in Oxfordshire, which he farmed commercially. Dawkins lives in Oxford, England. Dawkins has a younger sister. Both his parents were interested in natural sciences, they answered Dawkins's questions in scientific terms. Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing".
He embraced Christianity until halfway through his teenage years, at which point he concluded that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life's complexity, ceased believing in a god. Dawkins states: "The main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design, and that left me with nothing." From 1954 to 1959 Dawkins attended Oundle School in Northamptonshire, an English public school with a distinct Church of England flavour, where he was in Laundimer house. While at Oundle, Dawkins read, he studied zoology at Balliol College, graduating in 1962. He continued as a research student under Tinbergen's supervision, receiving his MA and Doctor of Philosophy degrees by 1966, remained a research assistant for another year. Tinbergen was a pioneer in the study of animal behaviour in the areas of instinct and choice.
From 1967 to 1969, he was an assistant professor of zoology at the University of California, Berkeley. During this period, the students and faculty at UC Berkeley were opposed to the ongoing Vietnam War, Dawkins became involved in the anti-war demonstrations and activities, he returned to the University of Oxford in 1970 as a lecturer. In 1990, he became a reader in zoology. In 1995, he was appointed Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, a position, endowed by Charles Simonyi with the express intention that the holder "be expected to make important contributions to the public understanding of some scientific field", that its first holder should be Richard Dawkins, he held that professorship from 1995 until 2008. Since 1970, he has been a fellow of New College, he is now an emeritus fellow, he has delivered many lectures, including the Henry Sidgwick Memorial Lecture, the first Erasmus Darwin Memorial Lecture, the Michael Faraday Lecture, the T. H. Huxley Memorial Lecture, the Irvine Memorial Lecture, the Sheldon Doyle Lecture, the Tinbergen Lecture, the Tanner Lectures.
In 1991, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children on Growing Up in the Universe. He has edited several journals, has acted as editorial advisor to the Encarta Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of Evolution, he is listed as a senior editor and a columnist of the Council for Secular Humanism's Free Inquiry magazine, has been a member of the editorial board of Skeptic magazine since its foundation. Dawkins has sat on judging panels for awards as diverse as the Royal Society's Faraday Award and the British Academy Television Awards, has been president of the Biological Sciences section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2004, Balliol College, instituted the Dawkins Prize, awarded for "outstanding research into the ecology and behaviour of animals whose welfare and survival may be endangered by human activities". In September 2008, he retired from his professorship, announcing plans to "write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in'anti-scientific' fairytales."In
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI is a senior prelate of the Catholic Church who served as its head and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "Pope Emeritus" upon his resignation. Ordained as a priest in 1951 in his native Bavaria, Ratzinger had established himself as a regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958. After a long career as an academic and professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience. In 1981, he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia. From 2002 until his election as pope, he was Dean of the College of Cardinals.
Prior to becoming Pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century". He has lived in Rome since 1981, his prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values. He was a liberal theologian, but adopted conservative views after 1968. During his papacy, Benedict XVI advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many Western countries, he views relativism's denial of objective truth, the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century. He taught the importance of both an understanding of God's redemptive love. Pope Benedict revived a number of traditions, including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position, he strengthened the relationship between the Catholic Church and art, promoted the use of Latin, reintroduced traditional papal garments, for which reason he was called "the pope of aesthetics". He has been described as "the main intellectual force in the Church" since the mid-1980s.
On 11 February 2013, Benedict unexpectedly announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013, he is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415, the first to do so on his own initiative since Celestine V in 1294. As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, the title of pope, continues to dress in the papal colour of white, he was succeeded by Pope Francis on 13 March 2013, he moved into the newly renovated monastery Mater Ecclesiae for his retirement on 2 May 2013. In his retirement, Benedict XVI has made occasional public appearances alongside Pope Francis. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born on 16 April, Holy Saturday, 1927, at Schulstraße 11, at 8:30 in the morning in his parents' home in Marktl, Germany, he was baptised the same day. He is the third and youngest child of Joseph Ratzinger, Sr. a police officer, Maria Ratzinger.
His mother's family was from South Tyrol. Pope Benedict's elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, is a Catholic priest and is the former director of the Regensburger Domspatzen choir, his sister, Maria Ratzinger, who never married, managed Cardinal Ratzinger's household until her death in 1991. At the age of five, Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich, Michael von Faulhaber, with flowers. Struck by the cardinal's distinctive garb, he announced that day that he wanted to be a cardinal, he attended the elementary school in Aschau am Inn, renamed in his honour in 2009. Ratzinger's family his father, bitterly resented the Nazis, his father's opposition to Nazism resulted in demotions and harassment of the family. Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after March 1939—but was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings, according to his brother.
In 1941, one of Ratzinger's cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime and murdered during the Action T4 campaign of Nazi eugenics. In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer. Ratzinger trained in the German infantry; as the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family's home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established a headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was interned in a prisoner of war camp, but released a few months at the end of the war in May 1945. Ratzinger and his brother Georg entered Saint Michael Seminary in Traunstein in November 1945 studying at the Ducal Georgianum of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, they were both ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. Ratzinger recalled: "at the moment the elderly Archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird – a lark – flew up from the altar in the high cathedral and trilled a little joyful song."Ratzinger's 1953 dissertation was on St. Augustine and was titled The People and the House of God in Augustine's Doctrine of the Church.
His habilitation was on Bonaven
Samantha Jane Power is a British-born Irish American academic, political critic and diplomat who served as the 28th United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Power began her career as a war correspondent covering the Yugoslav Wars. From 1998 to 2002, she served as the Founding Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she became the first Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, she was a senior adviser to Senator Barack Obama until March 2008, when she resigned from his presidential campaign after apologizing for referring to then-Senator Hillary Clinton as "a monster."Power joined the Obama State Department transition team in late November 2008. She served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on the National Security Council from January 2009 to February 2013. In April 2012, Obama chose her to chair a newly formed Atrocities Prevention Board.
During her tenure, Power's office focused on such issues as United Nations reform, women's rights and LGBT rights, religious freedom and religious minorities, human trafficking, human rights, democracy, including in the Middle East and North Africa and Myanmar. She is considered to have been a key figure in the Obama administration in persuading the president to intervene militarily in Libya. In 2016, she was listed as the 41st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. Power is a subject of the 2014 documentary Watchers of the Sky, which explains the contribution of several notable people, including Power, to the cause of genocide prevention, she won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, a study of the U. S. foreign policy response to genocide. She has been awarded the 2015 Barnard Medal of Distinction and the 2016 Henry A. Kissinger Prize. Power was born in London, the daughter of Irish parents Vera Delaney, a field-hockey international and kidney doctor, Jim Power, a dentist and piano player.
Raised in Ireland until she was nine, Power lived in Castleknock and was schooled in Mount Anville Montessori, Dublin, until her mother emigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1979. She attended Lakeside High School in Atlanta, where she was a member of the cross country team and the basketball team, she subsequently received her B. A. degree from Yale University, where she was a member of Aurelian Honor Society, her J. D. degree from Harvard Law School. In 1993, at age 23, she became a U. S. citizen. From 1993 to 1996, she worked as a war correspondent, covering the Yugoslav Wars for U. S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe, The Economist, The New Republic; when she returned to the United States, she attended Harvard Law School, receiving her J. D. in 1999. The following year, she published her first edited and compiled work, Realizing Human Rights: Moving from Inspiration to Impact, her first book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, grew out of a paper she wrote while attending law school.
The book won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize in 2003. From 1998 to 2002, Power served as the Founding Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where she served as the Anna Lindh Professor of Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy. In 2004, Power was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world that year. In fall 2007, she began writing a regular column for Time. Power spent 2005–06 working in the office of U. S. Senator Barack Obama as a foreign policy fellow, where she was credited with sparking and directing Obama's interest in the Darfur conflict, she served as a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, but stepped down after referring to Hillary Clinton as "a monster". Power apologized for the remarks made in an interview with The Scotsman in London, resigned from the campaign shortly thereafter; the second book she edited and compiled, Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World, was released on February 14, 2008.
The third book she edited and compiled, The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrook in the World. Power was an outspoken supporter of Barack Obama; when she joined the Obama campaign as a foreign policy advisor, Men's Vogue described her as a "Harvard brainiac who can boast both a Pulitzer Prize and a mean jump shot. Now the consummate outsider is working on her inside game: D. C. politics."In August 2007, Power authored a memo titled "Conventional Washington versus the Change We Need", in which she provided one of the first comprehensive statements of Obama's approach to foreign policy. In the memo she writes: "Barack Obama's judgment is right. We need a new era of tough and engaged American diplomacy to deal with 21st century challenges."In February and March 2008, Power began an international book tour to promote her book, Chasing the Flame. Because of her involvement in the Obama campaign, many of the interviews she gave revolved around her and Barack Obama's foreign-policy views, as well as the 2008 campaign.
"Armenians for Obama" uploaded a video of Power to YouTube where she referred to Obama's "unshakeable conscientiousness" regarding genocide in general and the Armenian genocide in particular, as well as saying that he would "call a spade a spade, speak the truth about it". Power appeared on BBC's HARDtalk on March 6, stating that Barack Obama's pledge to "have all U. S. combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 month
Melinda Ann Gates DBE is an American philanthropist and a former general manager at Microsoft. In 2000, she co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable organization. Gates has been ranked as one of the world's most powerful women by Forbes. Melinda Ann French was born on August 1964 in Dallas, Texas, she is the second of four children to Raymond Joseph French Jr. an aerospace engineer, Elaine Agnes Amerland, a homemaker. Melinda has two younger brothers. Melinda, a Roman Catholic, attended St. Monica Catholic School, where she was the top student in her class year. At age 14, Melinda was introduced to the Apple II by her father, which inspired her interest in computer games and the BASIC programming language. Melinda graduated as valedictorian from Ursuline Academy of Dallas in 1982, she earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and an MBA from Duke's Fuqua School of Business in 1987. At Duke, Melinda was a member of Beta Rho Chapter.
Gates' first job was tutoring computer programming to children. After graduation, Melinda joined Microsoft as a marketing manager, where she was responsible for leading the development of various multimedia products; these included Cinemania, Publisher, Microsoft Bob and Word. In addition, she worked on Expedia, now one of today's biggest travel booking websites. Despite the commercial failure of Microsoft Bob, Gates recalled that a software demo was "one of the hardest things I've done". In the early 1990s, Gates was appointed as General Manager of Information Products, a position in which she held until 1996, she left Microsoft to focus on raising her family. Gates served as a member of Duke University's Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2003, she attends the annual Bilderberg Group conference and has held a seat on the Board of Directors of The Washington Post company since 2004. She was on the Board of Directors at Drugstore.com, but left in August 2006 to focus on philanthropy projects. Since 2000, Gates has been active in the public eye, stating "As I thought about strong women of history, I realized that they stepped out in some way".
This has helped her work become recognized, whilst shaping and delivering goals of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As of 2014, Bill and Melinda have donated US$28 billion to the Foundation. Melinda began dating CEO Bill Gates in 1987, after meeting him at a trade fair in New York. In 1994, she married Gates in a private ceremony held in Hawaii; the couple have three children: daughters Jennifer Katharine Gates and Phoebe Adele Gates, son Rory John Gates. The family resides in an estate on the shore of Lake Washington near Seattle. Gates and her husband were suggested as possible vice-presidential picks in the 2016 United States presidential election, according to a hacked email published by Wikileaks from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta. In 2002, Melinda and Bill Gates received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards. In December 2005, Melinda and Bill Gates were named by Time as Persons of the Year alongside Bono.
Melinda and Bill Gates received the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on May 4, 2006, in recognition of their world impact through charitable giving. In November 2006, Melinda was awarded the Insignia of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, together with Bill, awarded the Placard of the same order, both for their philanthropic work around the world in the areas of health and education in Mexico, in the program "Un país de lectores". In May 2006, in honor of her work to improve the lives of children locally and around the world, Seattle Children's Hospital dedicated the Melinda French Gates Ambulatory Care building at Seattle Children's, she chaired a campaign for the hospital to fundraise $300 million to expand facilities, fund under-compensated and uncompensated care, grow the hospital's research program to find cures and treatments. In 2007, Gates received an honorary doctorate in medicine from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2009, she and her husband received honorary degrees from the University of Cambridge.
Their benefaction of $210 million in 2000 set up the Gates Cambridge Trust, which funds postgraduate scholars from outside the UK to study at the University. Lastly, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Duke University in 2013 as a tribute for her philanthropic commitment, she was ranked #3 in Forbes 2013, 2014 and 2017 lists of the 100 Most Powerful Women, #4 in 2012 and #6 in 2011. Gates was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 for services to philanthropy and international development. In recognition of the foundation's philanthropic activities in India and Melinda jointly received India's third-highest civilian honor, Padma Bhushan, in 2015. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Gates and her husband with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their philanthropic efforts. In 2017, President François Hollande awarded Gates and her husband with France's highest national award, the Legion of Honour, in Paris for their charity efforts.
That year, she was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal 2016 of the United Nations Association of Germany, Berlin-Brandenburg, "for outstanding services to peace and international understanding" in the historic Berlin Town Hall. That year, Gates was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 12 in the list of 200 Most Influential Philanthropist
Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist, Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, a columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, Krugman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography; the Prize Committee cited Krugman's work explaining the patterns of international trade and the geographic distribution of economic activity, by examining the effects of economies of scale and of consumer preferences for diverse goods and services. Krugman was a professor of economics at MIT, at Princeton University, he retired from Princeton in June 2015, holds the title of professor emeritus there. He holds the title of Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics. Krugman was President of the Eastern Economic Association in 2010, is among the most influential economists in the world. Krugman is known in academia for his work on international economics, economic geography, liquidity traps, currency crises.
Krugman is the author or editor of 27 books, including scholarly works and books for a more general audience, has published over 200 scholarly articles in professional journals and edited volumes. He has written several hundred columns on economic and political issues for The New York Times and Slate. A 2011 survey of economics professors named him their favorite living economist under the age of 60; as a commentator, Krugman has written on a wide range of economic issues including income distribution, taxation and international economics. Krugman considers himself a modern liberal, referring to his books, his blog on The New York Times, his 2007 book The Conscience of a Liberal, his popular commentary has attracted widespread attention and comments, both negative. Krugman was born to the son of Anita and David Krugman. In 1922, his paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Brest, Belarus, at that time a part of Poland, he was born in Albany, New York, grew up in Merrick, a hamlet in Nassau County.
He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore. According to Krugman, his interest in economics began with Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels, in which the social scientists of the future use a new science of "psychohistory" to try to save civilization. Since present-day science fell far short of "psychohistory", Krugman turned to economics as the next best thing. Krugman earned his B. A. summa cum laude in economics from Yale University in 1974, went on to pursue a PhD in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1977, he completed his PhD in three years, with a thesis titled Essays on flexible exchange rates. While at MIT, he was part of a small group of MIT students sent to work for the Central Bank of Portugal for three months in the summer of 1976, during the chaotic aftermath of the Carnation Revolution. Krugman praised his PhD thesis advisor, Rudi Dornbusch, as "one of the great economics teachers of all time" and said that he "had the knack of inspiring students to pick up his enthusiasm and technique, but find their own paths".
In 1978, Krugman presented a number of ideas to Dornbusch, who flagged as interesting the idea of a monopolistically competitive trade model. Encouraged, Krugman worked on it and wrote, " knew within a few hours that I had the key to my whole career in hand". In that same year, Krugman wrote "The Theory of Interstellar Trade", a tongue-in-cheek essay on computing interest rates on goods in transit near the speed of light, he says he wrote it to cheer himself up when he was "an oppressed assistant professor". Krugman became an assistant professor at Yale University in September 1977, he joined the faculty of MIT in 1979. From 1982 to 1983, Krugman spent a year working at the Reagan White House as a staff member of the Council of Economic Advisers, he rejoined MIT as a full professor in 1984. Krugman has taught at Stanford and the London School of Economics. In 2000, Krugman joined Princeton University as Professor of International Affairs, he is currently Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, a member of the Group of Thirty international economic body.
He has been a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1979. Krugman was President of the Eastern Economic Association in 2010. In February 2014, he announced that he would be retiring from Princeton in June 2015 and that he would be joining the faculty at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Paul Krugman has written extensively on international economics, including international trade, economic geography, international finance; the Research Papers in Economics project ranks him among the world's most influential economists. Krugman's International Economics: Theory and Policy, co-authored with Maurice Obstfeld, is a standard undergraduate textbook on international economics, he is co-author, with Robin Wells, of an undergraduate economics text which he says was inspired by the first edition of Paul Samuelson's classic textbook. Krugman writes on economic topics for the general public, sometimes on international economic topics but on income distribution and public policy.
The Nobel Prize Committee stated that Krugman's main contribution is his analysis of the effects of economies of scale, combined with the assumption that consumers appreciate diversity, on international trade and on the location of economic activity. The importance of spatial issues in economics has been enhanced by Krugman's ability to popularize this complicated theory with the
Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician, serving as the Managing Director and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund. Lagarde has held the position since 5 July 2011, she held various senior ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment, Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde was the first woman to become Finance Minister of a G8 economy and is the first woman to head the IMF. A noted anti-trust and labour lawyer, Lagarde was the first female chair of the major international law firm Baker & McKenzie, between 1999 and 2004. On 16 November 2009, the Financial Times ranked her the best Minister of Finance in the Eurozone. On 28 June 2011, she was named as the next Managing Director of the IMF for a five-year term, starting on 5 July 2011, replacing Dominique Strauss-Kahn, her appointment is the 11th consecutive appointment of a European to head the IMF.
In 2014, Lagarde was ranked the 5th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. She was re-elected by consensus for a second five-year term, starting 5 July 2016, being the only candidate nominated for the post of Managing Director. In December 2016, a French court found her guilty of negligence for her role in the Bernard Tapie arbitration, but did not impose a penalty. In 2018, Forbes ranked her Number 3 on their World's 100 Most Powerful Women list. Lagarde was born in Paris, into a family of academics, her father, Robert Lallouette, was a Professor of English. Lagarde and her three brothers, all younger, spent their childhood in Le Havre where she attended the Lycée François 1er and Lycée Claude Monet; as a teenager, Lagarde was a member of the French national synchronised swimming team. After her baccalauréat in 1973, she went on an American Field Service scholarship to the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. During her year in the United States, Lagarde worked as an intern at the U.
S. Capitol as Representative William Cohen's congressional assistant, helping him correspond with French-speaking constituents during the Watergate hearings, she graduated from Paris West University Nanterre La Défense, where she obtained master's degrees in English, labor law, social law. She holds a master's degree from the Institut d'études politiques in Aix-en-Provence. Since 2010, she has presided over the Aix school's board of directors, she prepared for the École nationale d'administration's entrance exam but failed to gain admission to the elite school. Lagarde has two sons, Pierre-Henri Lagarde and Thomas Lagarde. Since 2006, her partner has been the entrepreneur Xavier Giocanti from Marseille. A health-conscious vegetarian who drinks alcohol, Lagarde's hobbies include regular trips to the gym and swimming. Lagarde joined Baker & McKenzie, a large Chicago-based international law firm, in 1981, she handled major antitrust and labour cases, was made partner after six years and was named head of the firm in Western Europe.
She joined the Executive Committee in 1995 and was elected the company's first female Chairperson in October 1999. In 2004, Lagarde became President of the Global Strategic Committee; as France's Trade Minister between 2005 and May 2007, Lagarde prioritized opening new markets for the country's products, focusing on the technology sector. On 18 May 2007, she was moved to the Ministry of Agriculture as part of the government of François Fillon; the following month she joined François Fillon's cabinet in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to become the first woman in charge of economic policy in France. She was the only member of the French political class to condemn Jean-Paul Guerlain's racist remarks of 2010. On 25 May 2011, Lagarde announced her candidacy to be head of the IMF to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn, upon his resignation, her candidacy received the support of the British, United States, Russian and German governments. The Governor of the Bank of Mexico Agustín Carstens was nominated for the post.
His candidacy was supported by many Latin American governments, as well as Spain and Australia. On 28 June 2011, the IMF board elected Lagarde as its next Managing Director and Chairman for a five-year term, starting on 5 July 2011; the IMF's executive board praised both candidates as well-qualified, but decided on Lagarde by consensus. Lagarde became the first woman to be elected as the head of the IMF. Carstens would have been the first non-European, her appointment came amid the intensification of the European sovereign debt crisis in Greece, with fears looming of loan defaults. The United States in particular supported her speedy appointment in light of the fragility of Europe's economic situation. U. S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that Lagarde's "exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable leadership for this indispensable institution at a critical time for the global economy." Nicolas Sarkozy referred to Lagarde's appointment as "a victory for France." Oxfam, a charity working in developing nations, called the appointment process "farcical" and argued that what it saw as a lack of transparency hurt the IMF's credibility.
On 17 December 2015, Michel Sapin, French Finance Minister, said that Lagarde could stay on as head of the IMF, despite being charged with criminal negligence. Throughout her time at the IMF, she has ruled herself out of the races to secure a top job in Europe, including the positio