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When people go through crises, they turn to psychologists, physicians, and gurus. When national economies topple into crisis, they turn to the International Monetary Fund. On January 3 Sean Hagan, 47, becomes the IMF’s new GC and director of its legal department — in other words, lawyer to the world’s economic therapist. Hagan is being promoted from the deputy GC position, a job he’s held since February 2003. The IMF was founded in 1945 to help member countries get through financial crises. Its goal is to restore market confidence by providing emergency funds in exchange for implementation of sound economic adjustment policies like privatization, liberalization, and cutting government spending. These policies, says Hagan, “require a strong legal and institutional framework to support them.” That’s where his 45-lawyer department comes in. Based in Washington, D.C., it advises governments on the legal issues associated with financial reform. Hagan says that during his tenure as GC the IMF’s legal department will continue work on sovereign debt restructuring and corporate insolvency as well as help fight money laundering and terrorist-financing. Perhaps even more important than these efforts, says Hagan, is his role in ensuring “that the IMF continues to operate — and is perceived as operating — within a coherent legal framework.” Good internal governance, he says, plays a critical role in maintaining the IMF’s credibility with its member states. This means advocating transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, responsiveness, and impartial legal frameworks, all of which are vital in the highly politicized world of development policy. The new job is a dream fulfilled for Hagan, who holds a master’s degree in politics of the world economy from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. “I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of international law, economics, and public policy,” he says. Before starting at the IMF in 1990, Hagan worked as an associate for the now defunct Whitman & Ransom in New York and for the Tokyo-based Masuda & Ejiri, which is now known as Asahi Koma Law Offices. Hagan replaces Fran�ois Gianviti, 66, who is retiring after 17 years as GC.

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