Ocampo: “the World Bank president should be selected on the basis of merits”

While receiving less media attention, José Antonio Ocampo appears to be an interesting candidate for those who seek for a developing country candidate capable (and willing) to take forward the Post-Washington Consensus agenda.

Ngozi Okonjo Iewala, the Financial Times candidate, has been criticized Continue reading

Support for Ocampo from ECLAC’s Executive Secretary

Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary  of United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), organisation that Ocampo lead during 1998-2003, wrote a Spanish article  arguing why José Antonio Ocampo is the best candidate for the Bank’s presidency. Here are some of the main arguments:

José Antonio Ocampo has an “outstanding career in academia, in the advancement of development theories, direct management of public policy and intellectual leadership to display original paths to progress.”

“He has examined in depth Continue reading

FT praises Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The FT published an editorial on Tuesday arguing that Nigeria’s minister of the economy and finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, should get the World Bank presidency job. While recognising that the US candidate Jim Yong Kim “could be a good choice” because of his background in health and his managerial experience at the World Health Organisation, the FT states that “the Bank needs more than this”:

“Its new leader should have a command of macroeconomics, the respect of leaders of both the funding and the funded countries, and the management skills to implement his or her vision. These requirements make Ms Okonjo-Iweala the best person for the role.”

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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?

Candidates, nationalities and some misunderstandings

Timothy Geithner said yesterday that Washington would put forward a candidate “in the coming weeks”. But with Hillary Clinton seemingly ruling herself out of the race there are more questions than answers on who will be Obama’s candidate.

Larry Summers was together with Hillary Clinton the most mentioned contender, but selecting someone who proposed dumping toxic waste in poor countries does not seem to help the purpose of improving the Bank’s legitimacy in the developing world. Unless Obama wants to ignore this detail the two initial contenders for the Bank’s leadership would be ruled out even before the selection process starts. Continue reading