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In The Loop
Posted at 03:31 PM ET, 07/17/2012

World Bank prepares for a presidential visit

Jim Yong Kim arrives for his first day on the job at World Bank Headquarters. (Jason Reed/Reuters)
Attention World Bank staff! Clean up your work stations and look sharp. New President Jim Y. Kim is visiting the bank’s Middle East and North Africa (MNA) offices Wednesday.

If you thought President Obama’s schedule was tightly choreographed, he’s got nothing on Kim.

Kim’s journey, from his office in the main building on Pennsylvania Avenue to the bank’s other office building across 18th Street NW, is timed to the minute.

But first things first.

“ ... Please unpack any of your remaining boxes,” advised an an e-mail to staff last week, and “move any empty boxes/large items for trash to the freight elevator ... and generally please ensure that the area inside and outside of your office space is neat and clean.”

“Note that while JYK will probably get the ball rolling, we are supposed to ensure that TTLs [that means task team leaders] are not shy in case he does not.”

“The President will be in our meeting area from 11:18 to 11:28,” another e-mail said.

“Please note that he will be shaking everyone’s hand, so it would be great if everyone could be here by 11:10 so we are ready when he arrives.”

More details came in another note reminding that the schedule was “tight, so it turns out each director or sector manager will only have 1 minute to introduce their team and what it does ... so think big picture!!

The schedule looks like this:

10:35 — Inger [Andersen, MNA vice president] and another official “will ... pick up the President” in his office.

10:42 — “arrive at J building, via Tunnel” under 18th Street (Presumably someone timed this accurately, moving at the pace the president walks.)

Then he goes up to the fifth floor.

10:45 to 10:55 — “meet with first 5th floor groups in North atrium”

10:56 to 11:04 — “Ops and Strategy team”

11:05 to 11:15 — “PREM [Poverty Reduction and Economic. Management] and FPD [Finance and Private Sector Development] also on 5th floor, South Atrium”

JYK then goes up the stairs

11:18 to 11:28 — “SD” [sustainable development] on 6th floor

11:30 to 11:36 — “HD” [ human development] on 6th floor

“elevator to 2nd floor”

11:38 to 11:45 — “CMUs” [Country managers]

11:45 — “end of visit”

As it turns out, this plan builds on a long tradition of the bank intricately orchestrating presentations for royal visits. Staffers once rented artwork for the day, we’re told, to spruce up their area for a visit by former president James Wolfensohn.

Let’s just hope Kim doesn’t go over to the J building too often.

By  |  03:31 PM ET, 07/17/2012

Tags:  World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, Al Kamen, Emily Heil, In the Loop

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