Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, delivered her annual state of the global economy speech in the JFK, Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School followed by a discussion with Nicholas Burns, Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations and Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. In her address, Madame Lagarde quoted President John F. Kennedy stating that “the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” Mme. Lagarde adapted this statement to the economy, expressing that while our economy is currently experiencing an upswing, now is the time for reform. We must be proactive, not reactive. Additionally, Mme. Lagarde spoke about the importance of fighting corruption and climate change, empowering women, and addressing inequality.
Madame Lagarde's speech was the inaugural event of the new Economic Diplomacy Initiative (EDI) - a joint program of the Future of Diplomacy Project and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. EDI is co-chaired by Professors Burns and Summers, and aims to provide Harvard students with a sound understanding of the critical importance of economic diplomacy in a globalized world; specifically, the negotiation of agreements between multiple countries and multiple stakeholders.