TITANS

Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen TIME 100
Peter Hapak for TIME

The captain at the helm of the U.S. economy

When Janet was sworn in as chair of the Fed on Feb. 3, I confess I sighed in relief and smiled.

A sigh of relief because from now on, it will feel less “lonely” in summits and official reunions where, by and large, mostly gray suits congregate and there are very few skirts. Earlier this year in Sydney, I truly appreciated her presence and support. I realized she and I have a few things in common … besides the color of our hair: a concern over unemployment, a strong belief that consensus works better than confrontation, a fierce determination to never see the crisis we’re just starting to overcome happen again and a tenacious conviction that we can do something about it.

With Janet now at the helm of the Fed, America, and the world, can also breathe a sigh of relief.

And I had a big smile too. Not because it was another first for women breaking glass ceilings, but because her nomination came to pass without much fanfare, since virtually everyone agreed that she was by far the best candidate for the job.

She happened to be a woman. Yes, Janet, the times they are definitely a-changin’.

Lagarde has been the managing director of the International Monetary Fund since July 2011

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