The World Bank’s directors met Monday to decide who will be the powerful institution’s next chief. Just as has been predicted, the US maintained its unbroken lock on the position, with the election of Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim as its next chief.
It was a
decision that surprised few despite the first-ever challenge to the US
lock on the Bank’s presidency, by Nigeria’s finance minister, Ngozi
The Bank’s directors chose Kim, a 52 year old US
health expert and educator, over Nigerian Okonjo-Iweala, who had argued
that the huge lender needs reorientation under someone from the
Kim, 52 and currently president of the Ivy
League University Dartmouth, will replace outgoing President Robert
Zoellick, the former US diplomat who is departing in June at the end of
his five-year term.
The Bank’s directors expressed “deep
appreciation” to Kim, Okonjo-Iweala and a third candidate, Colombian
economist Jose Antonio Ocampo, who pulled out of the race Friday.
candidacies enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of
the World Bank Group’s future direction,” the Bank said in a statement.
“The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high caliber of the candidates.”
there had been little doubt about the choice of Kim, even as he breaks
the pattern of American bankers and diplomats being named to lead the
huge development bank.
By a longstanding pact Washington has
chosen the head of the World Bank while Europe has held control of who
leads its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.