“World Bank: global carve-up”

The opinion-editorials are starting to come in. Here is 1st one from the Guardian. It starts off with:

“Barack Obama made two statements that mattered at the White House on Friday. The first, identifying himself with the family of the shot black teenager Trayvon Martin, exemplified why this president is special. The other, nominating Jim Yong Kim to run the World Bank, showed him as a business-as-usual US leader.”

Closing of Nominations for President of World Bank

Ocampo got nominated after all. Here is a press release from the World Bank:

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2012 – The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank confirmed today that, as announced on February 17, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank closed on Friday, March 23. The Board is pleased to announce that the following three nominees will be considered for the position:

Jim Yong Kim, a US national and President of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

José Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian national and Professor at Columbia University, New York

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian national and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Nigeria Continue reading

Jim Kim

There is huge enthusiasm in Washington this morning, and no small measure of surprise.

A World Bank president nominee with a sense of humor and who mixes with his stakeholders.  After seven years of social awkwardness, Jim Kim’s ability to ‘mix it up’, as demonstrated in this “Dartmouth Idol” video, will be a welcome change.

A Korean-born physician and pioneer in the treatment of HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis, Kim has the breadth of experience on development issues needed to carry out the financial institution’s anti-poverty mission. He brings Continue reading

Jim Yong Kim: a mover and a shaker

There are important questions to discuss. Does Kim have enough political experience to manage the Bank’s board? Is he high profile enough? He has experience in health, but what about financial markets? Will the BRICs be pleased? Can he do the robot while wearing a white-studded leather jacket and spaceman sungalsses?

Some of those questions will have to wait, but I can happily announce that we can answer the last one. Would you ever catch Zoellick doing this?

Obama to nominate Korean-born Jim Yong Kim for World Bank head

News just started coming in that President Barack Obama will nominate Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, a surprise choice coming on the day the deadline for nominations expires. Anonymous officials have leaked the information to the press ahead of Obama’s official announcement later today.

Kim is a global health expert who has been a Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has extensive experience in improving health in developing countries and was Director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department from 2004 to 2006, when he oversaw all of the WHO’s work related to HIV/AIDS, focusing on initiatives to help developing countries scale up their treatment, prevention, and care programs, including the “3×5” campaign. US health activists seem to be quite excited with the news.

Meanwhile, Jeff Sachs tweeted:

Jim Kim is a superb nominee for WB. I support him 100%. I thank all who supported me and know they’ll be very pleased with today’s news

Is Sachs going to pull out of the race?

Nomination day – 2, 3 or 4 way race?

Nominations close at 6pm Washington time today – that’s 10pm GMT.  Two candidates appear definite.

Columbia University’s Jeff Sachs says he’s in, nominated by a collection of developing countries.  Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will face him, nominated by the South African consituency, which includes her home country and Angola.  Slightly unbelievably, the US is yet to make up its mind which of an unimpressive list of second tier candidates it wants to choose.

But what of former Colombian finance minister, Jose Antonio Ocampo? Continue reading

Sachs, Ocampo, and Okonjo-Iweala, 2 out of the 3 need to withdraw

In order to give someone from the developing world a real chance to get the top position at the World Bank, two out of the above mentioned three nominees need to withdraw and throw their weight behind the 3rd candidate. That was the opinion of a group of staffers at the World Bank’s headquarters today gathering for lunch. The rational beyond this is obvious of course. The developing countries must unite behind one candidate if they have a chance to make history and break the strangle hold of Europe and the US on the leadership positions in the World Bank and IMF. The only two international institutions that don’t have open competition for the top jobs.
My question is, who are the two that should withdraw?