Summary Box: Lagarde chosen to lead IMF

LAGARDE SELECTED: French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was chosen Tuesday to lead the International Monetary Organization and will immediately confront a European debt crisis that threatens the global economy.

WIDE BACKING: She's the first woman to be picked for the top job. Her selection was all but assured after the United States endorsed her early Tuesday. She also won the backing of Europe, China, Brazil and Russia.

REPUTATION BOOST: Lagarde will seek to repair the lending institution's reputation. Her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resigned last month after being charged with sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper. He has denied the charges.