who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Samy Watson is getting tired of being a silent defender of Paul Wolfowitz The Canadian Executive Director is being deluged with emails from irate Canadian staff at the Bank. Why: The US press continues to report that Canada is siding with the George Bush and Dick Cheney to keep Paul Wolfowitz, his girlfriend and his cronies at the top of the Bank. Not a peep from Ottawa, although Finance Minister Flaherty has backed off his pre-Spring Meetings statement that "Paul Wolfowitz told me what he did for his girlfriend, and that's OK with me." Dangerous words when hurled at you at a campaign meeting during a lovely Canadian fall election, along with "why did you support a man who gave his girlfriend a $60,000 raise?"

An email campaign has taken hold, and a group of Canadian staff are preparing a mass letter to sign. This would complement individual letters, at least one of which was copied to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and has found its way to the CBC.

Mr. Watson, who replaced the distinguished Canadian civil servant and diplomat, Marcel Masse, last September as ED for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, has a PhD in leadership (sic) from Andrews University in nearby Michigan. According to its website, "Andrews University has placed serious scholarship, quality research and a strong focus on practical Christianity first on the list of things we think are important about attendance at a Christian university." Its code of academic integrity says "The University is committed to principles of trust, accountability, clear expectations and consequences. It is also committed to redemptive efforts, which are meaningful only in light of these principles." Not entirely clear from his career history hopping around the Canadian civil service just when he met the residence requirements (four semesters) for the PhD.

But Watson's educational background may not be the sole predictor of future performance ensuring good corporate governance at an international financial institution Embassy ("Canada's Foreign Policy Newsletter") reports that "The jury is still out on exactly how the change at the top of the bureaucracy at Environment Canada will play out the world stage, but the removal of Samy Watson as deputy minister -- he is now awaiting a new assignment -- can only add to the concerns of those nations that support the Kyoto Accord. Apparently Prime Minister Stephen Harper found Mr. Watson too deeply embedded in the former Liberal government's way of thinking, and a little to adamant in his opinions."

No word on how he gets on with the World Bank's resident climate change denier, Juan-Jose Daboub. Although he has not yet met with any long-serving Canadian staff since his arrival last fall, and has not returned phone calls about The Current Situation, rumours from Ottawa describe his style as "Robinesque": not a good sign this week at the Bank.

Deep Insider ~ May 11, 2007

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