Interesting new article from the Bretton Woods Project about the selection of the next World Bank president, while Zoellick keeps quiet about his term’s imminent end:
Since October 2008, the Development Committee, a group of finance and development ministers that guides the Bank’s direction, has endorsed an “open, merit-based and transparent” selection process “with nominations open to all board members and transparent board consideration of all candidates”. In April 2011, the Bank’s executive board approved a paper that “regularised the selection process for the president based on the Bank’s past experience and practice”.
The paper lays out recommendations for nomination, shortlisting and final selection of the president, but fails to go beyond the Bank’s own past practice, which has long been criticised by many civil society groups as weak and unfair due to the gentlemen’s agreement that allows the US to appoint the president of the Bank, while European leaders get to choose the head of the IMF. Collins Magalasi, of the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development, argued that “it’s a World Bank, not a US Bank. It needs the best candidate to get the job with support of wide Bank membership, not just the US.”
Reading the article you will find that even the UN is calling for a proper leadership selection process at the World Bank:
In December last year, the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted a resolution that called for the reform of governance structures at the Bank and IMF, including regarding the representation of developing countries in quotas and voting rights. The resolution also “reiterates that the heads and senior leadership of the international financial institutions, particularly the Bretton Woods institutions, should be appointed through open, transparent and merit-based selection processes, with due regard to gender equality and geographical and regional representation.”