who will be next World Bank President What will they do


McPherson nominated? Has Peter McPherson has been nominated as World Bank president? One well-placed source indicates that the U.S. government has presented McPherson’s name to the Secretary of the World Bank board. Other people in Washington, however, disagree, saying that McPherson is likely to make the shortlist, but that no nomination has yet been made. The obscurity surrounding the process, as usual, prevents a clear picture.

While we try to get more information on whether McPherson is the man, here is some more background about him.

In 2003, McPherson was Financial Coordinator for Iraqi Reconstruction. He is a long-standing friend of Dick Cheney, since serving with him in the White House under Gerald Ford. Interestingly, McPherson was Deputy Director of Ford’s Presidential Personnel Office, perhaps picking up useful experience on how the Administration picks people for jobs such as Bank president.

His previous experience includes some significant development posts. Under Reagan he was Chair of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. export credit agency, then directed USAID. From 1987 to 1989 he was Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, a position he held until March 1989. In 1993 he became president of Michigan State University, a position he retired from recently.

He is currently the Co-Chair of the Partnership to Cut Poverty and Hunger in Africa, which seeks to mobilize more, and more effective, aid. Also on the board of this initiative are four current or past African presidents.

He also has impressive corporate connections, having held a senior position in the Bank of America, and being currently on the board at Dow Jones & Co. (which owns the Wall Street Journal).

He recognised in an interview that his experience in debt negotiations was mainly from the creditor side (at Bank of America). But he claimed that his experience in Iraq converted him to another perspective. "Now I'm on the debtor side", he commented. If he does end up heading the World Bank, he will certainly be in the thick of the current hot debt debates.

One developing country representative I spoke to in Washington earlier said that when he had heard McPherson speak, he had the impression he was a “classic get the prices right and the rest will follow” person who had failed to realise the complexity of the Iraq situation.

McPherson has certainly made some clumsy comments in speeches and media appearances. Of Iraq he said, for example, "putting this together is just such fun." Worldbankpresident.org will pull together some further regrettable quotes from McPherson and other strongly tipped candidates in the coming days.

The current European visit of Condoleeza Rice and the imminent visit of Bush mean that European governments are on their best behaviour towards the USA. Blair has today expended political capital backing Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General who has many U.S. critics. Will he go further and tackle the U.S. on the Bank appointment? Or is it more likely that the U.S. government will face little opposition when they do announce their candidate, today or later this month? I fear the latter.

Alex Wilks ~ February 10, 2005

Presidents 1946 - Present Day

"Keep track of the rumored candidates, power plays and buzz."
The Washington Post

Next & Previous

« UNDP goes for open process. | HOME | UNDP - not impressed. »






Malloch Brown

Mr W's cronies

Mr W's past

Mr W's pledges




The Process

Tony Blair

World Bank president

"Offering the rumors and gossip usually reserved for Washington's bars and back rooms."

WBpresident.org in the news

Wolfowitz-Riza-Cleveland: New Evil-doing?
Wolfowitz's right hand man jumps ship.
Caught in the World Bank storm.
We're in the papers! worldbankpresident.org media mentions.
Hot blogging on the World Bank president.
Media contacts.
Card wants Snow.
New candidate, French views.
An £8200 job ad.
Bank chief's parting shots.

"Accomplished and intelligent… sifts through the speculation and brings you the latest news."
The Guardian

Recent Rumours

Zoellick bearhug photo.
Like old times: Zoellick and Lamy
Another middle aged white American for the World Bank !
Globe and Mail: Euros Already Agreed not to Raise Questions
Official: Zoellick according to AP.
It's (un)Official: Zoellick
Zoellick will get the nod from Germany.
An opportunity at the World Bank
UPI: Wolfowitz Replacement This Week
UK involvement in the Foundation for the Future.


The World Bank
Bretton Woods Project

Search this site


May 2007
April 2007
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005

ifiwatchnet     riverpath