IMF nominates Lagarde to a second term leading agency

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks during a roundtable with CEMAC Ministers of Finance at the Hilton Hotel in Yaounde, Cameroon January 8, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Jaffe/IMF Staff Photo/Handout via Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has been nominated to a second term as the agency’s managing director, the IMF said in a statement on Thursday.

Lagarde, the first woman to lead the IMF, took the helm as its 11th director in 2011, according to the agency, which said it aims to complete the process as soon as possible.

The U.S. Treasury Department supported the move.

“Christine Lagarde has done an exceptional job leading the IMF for the last five years, guiding the Fund at a critical time for the global economy,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement.

“I’ve seen time and again her ability to bring people together on major global issues and drive toward solutions,” Lew added.

During her tenure, Lagarde has overseen the IMF’s handling of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and steps by the IMF to give a greater voice to emerging markets like China. She also played a lead role in fashioning an international bailout for Ukraine.

Lagarde, a former French official who chaired the Group of 20 in 2011, helped steer European fiscal policy during the 2007-2009 financial crisis and its aftermath.

In its statement, IMF said nominations for its top official had closed on Wednesday and that Lagarde was the only candidate nominated. The agency has said it aims to complete the selection process by early March.

Reporting by David Lawder and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum