"It's not a secret. I care a lot about the spread of freedom and democracy," Wolfowitz said. "But as I've said over and over again, I think there's a political stream and an economic stream, and they flow together and reinforce each other.
"If I'm president of the World Bank, I know which stream I'm focused on," he said.
Paul D. Wolfowitz and President Bush met in the Oval Office yesterday. Bush nominated Wolfowitz to head the World Bank.
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais -- AP)
Paul D. Wolfowitz
Age: 61 (born Dec. 22, 1943).
Education: Bachelor's degree in mathematics, Cornell University, 1965; doctorate, political science, University of Chicago, 1972.
Experience: Deputy secretary of defense, 2001-present; dean, School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, 1994-2001; taught at the National Defense University, 1993; undersecretary of defense for policy, 1989-93; ambassador to Indonesia, 1986-1989; assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, 1982-1986; headed State Department's policy planning staff, 1981-82; deputy assistant secretary of defense for regional programs, 1977-80; special assistant for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, 1976-77; with U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, 1973-77; taught at Yale University, 1970-73.
Family: Three children.
-- Associated Press
It wasn't clear yesterday whether Wolfowitz will be opposed by other bank shareholders. No U.S. choice for bank president has ever been opposed, but in 2000 the Clinton administration effectively vetoed Europe's first choice to head the International Monetary Fund, even though the IMF job is traditionally a European preserve.
The 24 members of the World Bank's board represent member countries or groups of countries, with voting power based mainly on their financial contributions to the bank's capital, so that the United States has about 16 percent of the votes, Japan 8 percent, Germany 4.5 percent, France 4.3 percent and so on. But contested votes are almost unheard of because the board considers consensus to be essential.
Carole L. Brookins, who resigned as the administration's representative on the board a couple of months ago, said that because the bank operates by consensus, "I can't imagine the U.S. putting up a candidate, especially someone of this stature, without doing the homework to make sure he would be acceptable."
Administration officials said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow had contacted his counterparts from a number of other nations in recent weeks, including France, Germany and all the other members of the Group of Seven major industrial countries, to discuss the bank presidency.
But until yesterday morning, his conversations concerned only the qualifications a new president should have, not specific names, the officials said. "The secretary was encouraged by his calls," a Treasury official said. "We're optimistic about the dialogue that will occur within the World Bank board."
European sources at the bank said yesterday that they were awaiting instructions from their capitals about how to respond. A spokesman for French President Jacques Chirac was noncommittal in describing Chirac's position after a phone call from Bush.
"The president took note of this candidacy and will examine it in the spirit of friendship between our two countries, bearing in mind the missions of the World Bank," the spokesman said.