And the next World Bank president is… Jim Yong Kim
On Monday, the executive directors of the World Bank met to pick the bank’s next president. This year was the first year that there were multiple nominees for the spot. And, in the end, the World Bank went with the U.S. nominee, public health expert Jim Yong Kim.
Here’s an earlier profile of Kim and here’s a New York Times interview with Kim where he explains how he’d like to change the World Bank, which focuses on poverty reduction and loaned out $57 billion to developing countries last year. Earlier, I explored some of the pros and cons of having a public-health expert lead the World Bank rather than an economist or finance type.
And what about the also-rans? Here are profiles of Kim’s main competitors, Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo. Neither got the job, obviously, but they helped make the race competitive for the first time in the bank’s history. In its announcement, the World Bank’s board notes that those nominees “received support from different member countries, which reflected the high caliber of the candidates.”
Still, for 60 years the U.S. nominee has gotten the job. Perhaps five years from now, when Kim’s first term is up, things will be different. But not this year. So Kim it is.