The award was bestowed at an intimate reception at the residence of French Ambassador Francois Delattre, who called Lagarde “one of world’s most powerful, respected and admired leaders.”
The Legion of Honor was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte to reward accomplishments and services rendered to France, based on a decision by the president of the French Republic.
Delattre gave Lagarde the rank of “Officier.”
In 2000, she was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by then-French President Jacques Chirac.
Among the attendees at the ambassador’s residence were former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, for whom Lagarde worked when he was a congressman.
Lagarde insisted the event remain small and discreet, with no press coverage.
She became the first woman to take the reins of the IMF in 2011 “amid a very difficult crisis in Europe that was reverberating all over the international markets,” said Delattre, who is leaving his post this summer to become France’s next ambassador to the United Nations.
As for Lagarde’s future, her name is being floated as a contender to head the European Commission.
There are no shortcuts to a vibrant economy—it must be built up from the empowerment of every single individual. http://t.co/8o7HuOl9xK
— Christine Lagarde (@Lagarde) June 6, 2014