The IMF’s Managing Director is both Chairperson of the Executive Board and Head of IMF staff. He or she is appointed by the Executive Board for a renewable term of five years. The Executive Board may select a Managing Director by a majority of votes cast. In the past, the Board has made such appointments by consensus.
Duties of the Managing Director
According to the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the Managing Director “shall be chief of the operating staff of the Fund and shall conduct, under the direction of the Executive Board, the ordinary business of the Fund. Subject to the general control of the Executive Board, he shall be responsible for the organization, appointment, and dismissal of the staff of the Fund.”
The Managing Director is assisted by a First Deputy Managing Director and three Deputy Managing Directors. He or she appoints the Deputy Managing Directors.
The IMF's 24-member Executive Board is responsible for selecting the Managing Director. Past practice has been that Executive Directors may submit a nomination for the position. In the 2011 selection round, IMF Governors could also submit nominations.
For the 2011 selection, the Executive Board adopted a procedure that allowed the selection of the next Managing Director to take place in an open, merit-based, and transparent manner.
The procedure comprises the following aspects:
The successful candidate for the position of Managing Director will have a distinguished record in economic policymaking at senior levels.
(S)he will have an outstanding professional background, will have demonstrated the managerial and diplomatic skills needed to lead a global institution, and will be a national of any of the IMF’s member countries.
As chief of the IMF's staff and as Chairman of the Executive Board, (s)he will be capable of providing strategic vision for the work of a high quality, diverse, and dedicated staff; and will be firmly committed to advancing the goals of the IMF by building consensus on key policy and institutional issues, including through close collaboration with the Executive Board, under whose direction (s)he will fulfill his or her responsibilities.
(S)he will have a proven understanding of the IMF and the policy challenges facing the Fund’s diverse global membership. (S)he will have a firm commitment to, and an appreciation of, multilateral cooperation and will have a demonstrated capacity to be objective and impartial. (S)he will also be an effective communicator.
Drawing up a shortlist
At the end of the nomination period, the IMF’s Secretary will announce to the Executive Board the names of those nominees who have confirmed their desire to be candidates. From these, the Executive Board will draw up a shortlist of three candidates, taking into account the above candidate profile without geographical preferences. The shortlist will be published by the IMF.
Selecting the successful candidate
The Executive Board will meet with the shortlisted candidates at the IMF’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Thereafter, the Executive Board will meet to discuss the strengths of the candidates and make a selection. Although the Executive Board may select a Managing Director by a majority of the votes cast, the objective of the Executive Board is to select the Managing Director by consensus, as has been the case in previous selection rounds.
The IMF has had eleven Managing Directors since it began operations in 1947. Christine Lagarde became the IMF’s eleventh Managing Director on July 5, 2011. Ms. Lagarde was appointed for a five-year term following a six week-long selection process that started on May 20.