The recruitment process for one of the most elite jobs in the world has begun in earnest, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched their search to find a new chief.

The IMF is seeking a replacement for the embattled Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last month after being charged in New York with a number of sexual offences. The international financial organisation is currently under the interim leadership of American economist, John Lipsky, but he has said that he is not going to hold the position in the long-term.

Addressing the matter of recruitment at the IMF’s annual Chinese policy talks last week, Lipsky said that the process would be thorough and entirely merit-based. He said that the selection of the new chief would be handled exclusively by the IMF’s 24-member executive boards, which comprises representatives from groups of member governments, each with appropriate voting shares.

Since Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in New York, the names of some of the world’s most qualified leaders have been thrown around in relation to filling the vacant post. Hilary Clinton, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have all been mentioned in connection with the race, but swiftly eliminated.

Acclaimed French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, has emerged as a strong front-runner, while Mexico’s central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, has been put forward as a contender, to reflect the growing importance of the emerging economies on the global finance map.

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