Zoellick at the World Bank: Does he meet the criteria?

The Bank’s Board has given their criteria for the next World Bank President. 

 The Board believes it is essential for the next World Bank President to have:

  • a proven track record of  leadership;
  • experience managing large, international organizations, a familiarity with the public sector and a willingness to tackle governance reform
  • a firm commitment to development;
  • a commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation, and
  • political objectivity and independence.

Nominations are open until June 15.  While the Board acknowledges that the Executive Director for the United States will be making a nomination, they leave themselve open to other suggestions.

There are many good things to say about Bob Zoellick, and some things he will have to work on. 

His resume is a good match for the criteria the Board has laid down.  Bob Zoellick has worked in many capacities in the US Government, and is a realist conservative not a neocon.  He has travelled widely, he cares, he spent a lot of time in Darfur, he is bright and able, he doesn’t care much about money, he wants to do things. 

But he is described as a ‘screamer’ (not that Jim Wolfensohn didn’t have his moments, and quiet and courteous belied other, less honorable things his successor was up to, or didn’t notice).  In his reach for the top, he may not have always acknowledged the roles others played in joint success.  Not that he was always successful: he was USTR when the trade negotiations failed in Cancun.

His links to Big Pharma and other corporations whose global interests may not mesh with those of the Bank, merit some questions from the Board.  So does the role he played with his running buddy, Pascal Lamy (whose appointment was said by some to be the reason France did not oppose Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush’s last choice for World Bank President), in world trade negotiations.

Above all, he needs to listen…. 

He’s a Kennedy School grad, by the way, so that network will come into play…  Fox has done a very thorough bio.

2 thoughts on “Zoellick at the World Bank: Does he meet the criteria?

  1. Robert Zoellick—Report
    leadership; A
    experience managing large, international organizations, B
    a familiarity with the public sector A
    willingness to tackle governance reform B+
    a firm commitment to development; B”
    a commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation, B
    political objectivity and independence. C+

    Bobby has made important progress. He is a bright and serious and is getting much better at controlling his temper and playing with others. He has to make a greater effort in management, link his trade experience to development . He is also making good progress of becoming more independent from his old gang “the Vulcans” and has taken steps to think more objectively

    He meets the essential qualificatons to be President of the World Bank. During the first six months he should be assigned a “sherpa” to guide him through the different parts of the Bank and a management coach.

  2. Given the hastiness of this nomination and the reservations, why not appoint the new President to complete the remainder of Wolfowitz’ term rather than giving him a new 5-year term?

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