Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says he supports French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde's candidacy for the top post at the International Monetary Fund.

In a statement, Geithner says Lagarde's "exceptional talent and broad experience" will provide invaluable leadership for the bank at a critical time for the global economy. He says he is encouraged by the broad support Lagarde has among the fund's membership.

Lagarde is expected to be chosen as early as Tuesday to become the first woman to head the IMF. She would replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned last month as managing director after being charged with sexually assaulting a New York City hotel housekeeper.

Geithner also commended the candidacy of Agustin Carstens, a Mexican central banker whose candidacy never caught fire, even among developing countries.