who will be next World Bank President What will they do


McPherson - not greedy, just wrong. Writing in the FT, John Dizard argues that the World Bank selection process shows the weakness at the heart of George Bush's international policy making.

He's glad that public mockery has driven Carly Fiorina and Paul Wolfowitz from the race, but lays into Peter McPherson with gusto. more...

David Steven ~ March 14, 2005

Card wants Snow. Libération says at least ten minutes of every Washington dinner party are spent guessing who will be the next World Bank president. It reminds correspondent Pascal Riche of a game described by 19th century French author Guy de Maupassant where people used to work out who would replace deceased academics. "Everyone makes their list. People challenge, discuss, calculate. There is nothing more fun, nothing, absolutely nothing."

On Riche's current list are: Fiorina, McPherson, Tobias and Snow. He suggests that Treasury Secretary Snow may be picked because Andrew Card - White House Chief of Staff and thus in charge of the Bank president selection process - wants Snow's job. more...

Alex Wilks ~ March 11, 2005

Fiorina still in with chance. Two well-placed people I have just spoken to in Washington have confirmed that the administration is playing its cards very close to its chest on the Bank presidency. One said, however, that Wolfowitz rumours have died away. Another that "the latest rumour is McPherson is out of the running while Carly Fiorina is still in contention". They considered this the wrong way round. more...

Alex Wilks ~ March 10, 2005

McPherson backed and keen. Peter McPherson is still definitely in with a strong chance of becoming next World Bank president. I was told yesterday by an impeccable source that McPherson "badly wants the job". And that he has powerful backing from within USAID, the official bilateral aid agency of the USA.

The same person at the Paris aid conference told me that this process is speeding up, with an announcement possible within the next two weeks.

Alex Wilks ~ March 03, 2005

Wolfowitz touted. The FT drops a bombshell this morning - Paul Wolfowitz is now a leading candidate for World Bank president.

Wolfowitz would be a hugely controversial choice, with a Bush official admitting his appointment would have "enormous repercussions within the development community."

Tobias, Taylor and McPherson are also said to be on the shortlist, though the latter two are apparently no longer leading candidates...

David Steven ~ March 01, 2005

Cloning Zedillo. In a letter to the FT, Jagdish Bhagwati puffs Ernesto Zedillo ("huge stature, graciousness and total familiarity with the complex issues of development") and knifes Wolfensohn ("a crisis of leadership" at the Bank).

Given that Zedillo is mentioned in connection with every top international job, Bhagwati concludes that there are two choices: clone him or go for McPherson or Taylor instead...

David Steven ~ February 23, 2005

Like Liechtenstein. "By treating the [World Bank presidency] as if it's an ambassadorship to Liechtenstein," the New York Times writes, "we fail to consider the most highly qualified candidates and too easily fall into the trap of using the bank as a tool of American policy."

As examples of non-US nationals who are well qualified for the job, it mentions Gordon Brown, Trevor Manuel and Kemal Dervis (names you read here first), while adding Ernesto Zedillo, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and Leszek Balcerowicz to the pot. more...

David Steven ~ February 20, 2005

Latest on McPherson bid. Today’s news is that McPherson has not been nominated and is playing it cool. One contact of mine bumped into McPherson yesterday and asked him if he was standing for World Bank president. His response? “I was president of Michigan State University”. Not a "no", but not very revealing. more...

Alex Wilks ~ February 11, 2005

Bring in the police. Peter McPherson - one of the leading candidates for World Bank president - provoked an interesting Bank-related furore a few years back.

As head of Michigan State University, he sanctioned police infiltration of a student group planning to protest at the university's 2000 commencement speech. The speaker? None other than... James Wolfensohn. more...

David Steven ~ February 11, 2005

McPherson to feed world. If Peter McPherson does - as rumours suggest - get the nomination as president of the World Bank, expect a greater focus on failed states - McPherson served on Nancy Birdsall's Commission on Weak States and US National Security - and agriculture, especially in Africa.

McPherson is a strong supporter of the use of biotechnology in development, arguing that it's an important tool that should not be kept away from the poor for political reasons. more...

David Steven ~ February 11, 2005

Screw the French. With rumours flying that Peter McPherson will receive the nomination for World Bank president, we're sure he'll be counting on the whole-hearted support of the French government.

In Iraq, according to an entertaining article in Atlantic Monthly (subs), McPherson was renowned as a passionate Francophile... more...

David Steven ~ February 11, 2005

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. more...

Alex Wilks ~ February 10, 2005

Insider speaks out. "An open process with a search panel should be the approach for all multilateral institutions," says Peter Woicke, outgoing executive vice president of the World Bank's private lending arm, the International Finance Corporation.

"The institutions suffer as a result of the way they pick their leadership," he argues. more...

David Steven ~ February 03, 2005

No good candidates. The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial, is down on foreign aid (not an effective development tool), down on the World Bank (half a trillion dollars down the pan), and down on the candidates to replace James Wolfensohn as Bank president.

Christine Todd Whitman - "bends with the prevailing media winds". Colin Powell - "would bring star quality but not economic experience to the task". Peter McPherson - "helped develop post-Saddam Iraq's pro-growth economic policies" (it's not clear if the WSJ thinks this is a good or a bad thing).

David Steven ~ January 13, 2005

Taylor tipped, Powell and McPherson also running. U.S. Treasury undersecretary for international affairs John Taylor "appeared to move ahead as a top contender for the job" in the eyes of Reuters late yesterday. His position overseeing the international financial institutions for Treasury since mid-2001 certainly makes him a powerful player in the Bank.

Italian TV station Rai Uno is among those who see Colin Powell's speeches during his tour in tsunami-struck Asia as a warm-up for a serious candidacy for the Bank position. more...

Alex Wilks ~ January 07, 2005

"Every World Bank project operates like the invasion of Iraq." Edward Luttwak, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, tells Canada's Globe and Mail.

"People who don't know the language penetrate into a country, they want to do good, and they end up having unintended consequences. The place needs to be shut down. It can be replaced by a line item in the budget called 'emergency help.' " more...

David Steven ~ January 04, 2005


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






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