who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Riza's statement From WSJ- haven't had a chance to go through the document but since there are requests for it from the comments, I am posting the link:

But the following caught my eyes:
It is certainly the case that World Bank salary rates are significantly higher than the pay of national civil servants, at least in North America. It is up to shareholders to review the pay scale of the World Bank job classifications. But I should not be singled out for isolated finger-pointing when my salary level is within the same range as staff in my grade level who were not forced to leave their jobs.

The Beaver ~ May 01, 2007


I must admit I've been following the world bank scandal just enough to be disgusted once again.

Here's an organization of overpaid, self absorbed, ivory tower no-accounts who's main purpose seems to be the redistribution of US taxpayer's money in large messy bundles to other insiders and corrupt politicians.

Just like the Kofi Annan family and their big dip into UN monies (also thanks to hard-working Joe Taxpayer).

My gut response is to pull the plug on the whole inbred lot. I actually have a job. I have a family. I don't make $180k/yr. I pay taxes. I get really tired of having to balance medical expenses, housing expenses, transportation expenses, while the snarling oligarchy takes a big bite out of my earnings and the future earnings of my family.

A pox on all of you. Go away! Disappear! Rid this tired world of your pitiful self importance. You are worthless bureaucrats whose function is to apply my money to your own backsides, bribing yourselves to accomplish nothing. I say fire you all and return the wasted money to those who actually worked to earn it.

You are pigs wrestling in the mud.

Out! Begone!

Chris ~ May 01, 2007, 04:51 PM

The tone of the statement is convincing, but then – after reading it all – if you sit back and think, a few issues come to mind. First, it is misleading (she was turned down twice for promotion to “H”, she was not considered qualified enough). Second, the statement is illogically self-centered (her logic: “if others have been allowed illegal deals, why not me?” Well, two wrong don’t make a right, Ms. Riza). But most importantly, the statement does not address (well, it does hint to) the real issue. Ms. Riza – everybody knows at the World Bank – was carrying out political activity while on the World Bank payroll. She attended countless meetings at the US State Department for months, before she went to Iraq with SAIC. She also was using World Bank resources for the benefit of the US State Department (including her own staff’s time – yes, she was asking her staff to work on State Department’s issues, and her staff did enthusiastically). She was also very abrasive and rough, and her style had alienated a lot of staff in the World Bank. This is the real reason why a few Executive Directors for MENA and the VP for MENA pushed her out. She could not be the face of the World Bank in the Middle East anymore.

When the truth? ~ May 01, 2007, 04:52 PM

To complete the oicture depicted by the above post, IF Mr. Wolfowitz had not come to the WB Ms. Riza would have been out. She had supported the Bush electioncampaign, the Iraq war, and she had pissed off many many staff with her violent manners.

Riza's statement ~ May 01, 2007, 04:56 PM

A quick read of the document reveals Riza said nothing about her work with SAIC and DoD while ostensibly an employee of the Bank, whether she formally obtained permission (which would have been refused), and what renumeration she earned from that outside contract.

Nothing was said about her 'secondment' to the Foundation for the Future, what she is actually doing there to justify her Bank salary.

Was the SAIC incident properly investigated by PW for compliance with Bank rules?

None ~ May 01, 2007, 05:11 PM

Reading Riza's comments, the "moslem+feminist" spin gives an unexpected angle to the defense of Wolfowitz. For those who know Riza, the argument was predictable, though they may question, if not her sincerity, at least her motives. I would not be surprised that his and her lawyers have coordinated their affidavits carefully to enhanced Wolfowitz's legend as this sharing and caring man who joined the Bank to expiate his sins.

Crassputin ~ May 01, 2007, 05:11 PM

For the UN system, "62-63 Years are Enough", It is retirement age; besides, its annexes are now mere centers of abuse, fraud, and waste. The entire multilateral machinery needs a bold revamping into a few "lean and keen" agencies.

Washingtonian ~ May 01, 2007, 05:23 PM

From the other comments you see people are actually buying these intentionally misleading claims by Riza and Wolfowitz that most Bank staff earn that sort of income. Only a very small percentage of staff at Riza's level, even those who've performed well at that level for many years, earn as much as she does.

WB employee ~ May 01, 2007, 05:32 PM

Ms Riza and Mr Wolfowitz misses the point. There are clear guidelines in place which dictates what the allowable promotion increase is to the next grade [3-12% of the midpoint of the range] and not the 28% that she got! Also, when a staff is on external assignment, there is another guideline which states that the staff gets the average pay increase for the year, and not the "Outstanding" rating that was promised to Ms Riza. Bottom line, it is clearly a conflict of interest since what Ms Riza got in the end were all against existing Bank policies. Please don't give me her poor excuses about her new salary being within the range. That is beside the point. She got a big humongous jump and got a sweetheart deal.

Poor Excuses ~ May 01, 2007, 06:07 PM

Riza is selectively chosen comments from her performance evaluations from earlier periods rather than the most recent ones. The later evaluations show bad performance and staff compalinst against her. I hope the board looks at the full picture.

in the know ~ May 01, 2007, 06:30 PM

This whole episode may have a silver lining. Hopefully, all the self-sustaining shenanigans at these redundant international agencies will be exposed. Wolfie (and SR)--while in hubris--made too many mistakes and just got caught!

Equally disgusted ~ May 01, 2007, 07:04 PM

Riza's later evaluations show bad performance and staff compalinst against her.

When the truth? ~ May 01, 2007, 07:16 PM

The breach of staff rules that this situation highlights is all too common at the Bank. Take a closer look at Ana Palacio's legal department where she has signalled that she does not care about Bank rules or staff rules in the way in which she is treating staff - from her most senior staff to lowly staff assistants that used to work in her front office. She also has little sensitivity towards the third world counties on whose behalf she claims to be implementing the Legal Empowerment for the Poor agenda. She once referred to the difficulty of working on rule of law as "it's a jungle [out there in the developing countries].

Take a closer Look ~ May 01, 2007, 08:48 PM

Four questions that deserve an answer:

(1) Who is paying for the fees of PW's and SR's attorneys?

(2) Did the WB Ethics Committee clear SR's working for the Foundation for the Future, reporting to VP Cheney's daughter, as being consistent with policies regarding secondments and in the interest of the WB who pays her salary?

(3) Was Ms. Riza reprimanded for the SAIC assignement, given that she neglected to disclose it in advance to her manager? Shouldn't her failure to have done so been grounds for dismissal?

(4) I understand that there is a WB policy that no Board dicuments may be released to the public without the Board's explicit prior approval. PW's and SR's Board statements of yerterday were Board documents. Did the Board prior-approve their release?

Bill Stevenson ~ May 01, 2007, 09:14 PM

I don't understand Riza, unless I am missing something. I was a GG level Bank professional until a couple of months ago when my position was made redundant by a hostile manager (the Bank jobs are not as secure as they make it sound--they use the weapon of "redundancy" to punish those that ask the right questions about mishandling of developmenet funds). I have a Ph.D. and four Master's degrees (from top schools). And after about fourteen years in the Bank, my salary was way below what Riza was being paid at her earlier level (GG). So it appears that some of us females are being paid a lot less than our counterparts (unless we agree to sleep with our managers)!!!

Guru ~ May 01, 2007, 11:05 PM

Dear Guru:

I know what your problem is, you not only didn't sleep with your managers, but you didn't hit the jackpot by sleeping with the TOP management.

I bet you didn't get an office beside the Pres. like Robin did, nor did you do brilliant things like trying to drive a SUV into the underground garage. You have no ability to fit 7ft high SUVs into 6ft height spaces. You also can't make up fake documentation like Robin. Or, for that matter, you are not as good as Ana, who dares to take on the EDs single handed --- and halting a Board Meeting. I bet you also did not contribute anything at the Bank to finding facts that support the al qaeda link to Iraq, nor did you go on any trips to Iraq to uncover WMDs. You certainly did not provide any evidence of WMD links for the Bank. You also did not support the war in Iraq by making contributions to the RNC or working on the campaign in proportion to your salary. Nor did you enlist 50 of your friends and acquaintances to donate the maximum individual amount to the Bush Campaign. On top of all this, I bet you refused an assignment to be the country manager in Iraq. Finally, you have proper qualifications, which makes your willingness to sleep with PW suspect.

You will never do.... hope you got a job somewhere outside of the RNC sphere of influence.

None ~ May 01, 2007, 11:19 PM

breathtaking idiocy. to suggest that there is some conspiracy to push her out -- because she's moslem and female -- by the ethics ctee is simply stupid: either she had to go or wolfowitz had to go. that's called anti-nepotism policy. does she suggest that prioritising the president over her is discrimination? she was given due process. her stunning arrogance is so declasse that it makes her falsehoods pale. SR's statement gives meaning and credibility to derogatory use of "blah blah blah".

wonder how the EDs can maintain any degree of pride in face of this whackingly insulting invective -- that is, without firing W. maybe SR just hammered the final nail in W's coffin.

anon ~ May 01, 2007, 11:43 PM

PW's recent (March 2007) appointment of the Bank's EXT "senior" VP was a recommendation by SR as a reward for "coalition of the willing" (same as Palacio). Hence, the unabated continuation of neo-con artistry!

Washingtonian ~ May 02, 2007, 12:46 AM

As an International Civil servant, Riza could have tried her hands at the UN or any other UN organs/agencies. However, she chose the path of least resistance to further her political agenda and that of Wolfowitz.

Had she stayed at the bank, she advanced that she would not have been under the direct or indirect supervision of Wolfowitz and therefore didn't have to leave her post at the WB.

Lady, as a smart woman you forget that you were sleeping with the President of the WBank and no supervisor(no matter how strong is his or her integrity)of yours would dare go against your will because he/she will get the KISS OF DEATH ( remember how pillow talks have got some great men in trouble).Then you would be viewed as the Prima Donna of the WB and the UNTOUCHABLE.
As someone who has been fighting for gender equality and a proponent for just treatment, how do you think your colleagues would react? Where is the fairness in this case?

As the saying goes:"You don't xxxx where you eat."

Courtesy: anonymous in WSJ ~ May 02, 2007, 01:03 AM

I am a Muslim woman working at the Bank and I object to her saying that she was discriminated against for these reasons. Perhaps it was her lack of qualifications in communcations or her general attitude and inability to work with others.

Bankette ~ May 02, 2007, 01:48 AM

If you believe what Riza says, you simply don't understand international organizations, nor development. She was protected by former President Wolfenshon (because he knew she was with Wolfowitz – by the way, Wolfenshon invited Riza and Wolfowitz to vacation in his Ranch in Wyoming) and a very active political activist for the Iraq War and a pro- Bush administration advocate. She is a neo-con. Hence, she is not fit to work in an international organization. As simple as that. And while at the WB, she used WB resources (including staff) to push for the agenda of US Department of State. Incredible, really. Ask if in doubt. It is all true.

riza is a lost cause ~ May 02, 2007, 04:40 AM

I hope the webmasters would post the following message on your home page, out of desire for the Wolfowitz and Riza cronies to convey it to the wretched pair? Thank you.

I am a female staff member of the World Bank and I am utterly disgusted by Ms. Riza's statement to the Board’s ad hoc committee. To be sure, as a professional woman, I can feel only the utmost shame for her.

Ms. Riza considers herself discriminated because she is a Moslem Arab woman. The fact is that women, including those from Middle East and North African countries, have risen to high positions in the World Bank Group because of their hard work, talent and competence evident in their performance, their leadership qualities as well as their humane and respectful treatment of colleagues and staff members.

One example is Ms. Nemat Shafik, Vice President and national of Egypt, who is currently serving as Director at UK's Department for International Development (DFID) while on leave from the Bank. I worked closely with Ms. Shafik during the early years of her Bank career. She is an excellent economist with a PhD from Oxford and an M.A. from the London School of Economics. Ms. Riza, in fact, attended both universities but the comparison with Ms. Shafik ends there. Ms. Shafik's skills as economist and analyst are impeccable.

Like all true professionals in the Bank, including female staff, Ms. Shafik’s judgment on issues are respected and considered respectable because they are based on solid and critical analysis. That is, they do not stem from untenable sentiments, whether religion or gender-based, nor empty political rhetoric. Ms. Shafik has worked on a broad range of issues: environment, macroeconomics, corporate governance, post-transition, financial sector in addition to her experience in two regions of the Bank. Ms. Shafik rose to high positions in the Bank for her leadership on both the intellectual and institutional fronts – leading by example, fairness and respect. Not surprisingly, she was promoted to Vice President at age 39.

Ms. Shafik was admired for her ability to get the best work out of team members and staff across the Bank because she demonstrated sincere respect and appreciation for them. On the other hand, Ms. Riza has attracted only disdain from Bank staff because of her commonly known rudeness to staff members (a past co-worker had only one word to describe her: “mean”), her sense of entitlement for being a Western educated Arab offspring of a privileged family and, put simply, her lack of leadership traits. She has achieved notoriety not because of her qualifications nor performance but because of the back door tactics applied for her promotion to GH. She failed to demonstrate her ability to work across boundaries both within her vice presidency unit and across the Bank Group (especially). It comes as no surprise that she was denied a promotion to level GH more than once.

True to Ms. Riza’s obtuse thinking, her rationalization for the GH promotion is the similarity of her experience, background and education with other GH staff in the Bank. Owing to her twisted sense of entitlement, she has failed to comprehend and accept that the basis for promotions for the majority of Bank staff who have never enjoyed the privileges of patronage or favoritism is EXCELLENCE in job performance and in behaviors.

Many female staff members, including myself, have not groveled nor harangued for affirmation of any special rights in the institution because of our gender. Like all staff members of the World Bank, men and women alike, we understand that our rights go hand in hand with the obligations of qualified and honest international civil servants.

Bank female staffer ashamed for Riza ~ May 02, 2007, 04:41 AM

riza souns like an envious, money-grubbing con-artist. to get a GH in the bank, you need 3 things: a phd or equivalent; 10-15 yrs of experience in the field; publications and recognition by peers in the field of expertise (that's peer-reviewed journals, books, and associations). the bank GH professional has the equivalent skill set of a tenured professor in a top doctoral university. they will be expected to travel on mission to countries within a region or anywhere in their field of expertise. they will negotiate directly with gov't ministers, or they will directly manage programs. they will be called on as subject matter experts by other governments and int'l orgs. they can expect to be out of the US for up to 180 days/yr. and their destinations are often in the field, not the capital. because GHs are drawn from around the world, the vast majority relocate to the US, often uprooting family. they can expect a base net salary of approx. USD135K with some approaching USD150K. the upper bands of the salary range may be achieved in several yrs (usually between 5-10 yrs). now compare that against riza's claims. as for the recurring accusations that bank professionals are overpaid, perhaps the ones accusing first should understand why.

wbstaffer ~ May 02, 2007, 04:50 AM

Not too grammatical, is she, for 'earning' $193,000:

>>The open hostility against me by at least one Member of the Board of Directors who the former US Executive Director, Robert Holland, referred to in his Wall Street Journal Op. Ed. of April 20, was well known on the Board and by Bank staff.<<

Uhhh, Riza? Fourth grade English tells you to use 'whom' rather than 'who.'

Googly ~ May 02, 2007, 07:16 AM

WB employee has it right. Something like 400 of the WB staffers make that kind of cash and they've all got far more expertise and seniority than Riza ever did. There are 10,000 WB employees out there. This woman, liberal arts degree, was only at the Bank for about 9 years and suddenly she was making $200K? Riza was a 'communications specialist' for crissakes, what kind of expertise does that add? This wasn't a manager who'd done big projects or a financial expert who'd manuevered complex financing or someone who could really add value. She was a women's rights 'expert' as if that takes a huge expertise that we ordinary mortals would know nothing about and would require the services of an expert to achieve. Not that I am against women's rights, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to be all for women's rights or to get them - poor women without six-figure-salaries fight for them all the time and sometimes even win.

Riza was passed up for promotion at least two times, which in itself showed she wasn't on the fast track nor was a person of talent. The other thing is the size of her promotion, what was she doing getting a 36% rise while the rest of the bank staff had to make do with a 2% rise?

What happened is she suddenly got a boyfriend! Suddenly she got rich! And suddenly she says it's all compensation for her 'suffering.' The terrible suffering of having to work with the US vice president's daughter! The terrible suffering of being Wolfowitz's nightsqueeze. Oh it's so terrible! Oh it's so not her fault! Oh she's so rolling in the dough. What's wrong with this picture?

Googly ~ May 02, 2007, 07:21 AM

Shaha's 'selective' use of information from her performance evaluations nicely left out her behavioral ratings - likely to be poor given her demonstrated rough, abusive behavior versus others, lack of people skills, and inability to be a team player. She also failed to mention that her technical knowledge is not that great. These factors, and her lack of credentials, explain why she was turned down twice for the GH position (to be turned down TWICE by the relevant sector board - communications- is quite an achievement! Yeah, sure...it must have been discrimination...).

And lets not forget that small detail in her PW-sponsored external 'arrangement': the 'automatic' promotion to the next level upon return to the Bank (that of director!). People usually reach that level after 20 yrs of directly relevant development experience and demonstrated capacity to manage and lead large teams - and very few do. If only the rest of us could even aspire to such a nicely compressed career path. In our dreams...
But it must be of course because we are female and discriminated against - right Shaha?

What marvels me is PW's statement that 'She didn't get everything she wanted'! Well Shaha, what else did you want? To run the Bank?

female WBanker ~ May 02, 2007, 12:47 PM

well, if you look at how Shaha influenced Wolfowitz at the Pentagon, and how her friends have been rewarded, and her enemies punished, now that he's World Bank president, an argument could me made that she got it all, including running the Bank. She's got lots of time on her hands, though, to advise him, and that may account for how sour Robin's been looking lately...

Shocked and appalled ~ May 02, 2007, 02:15 PM

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