Jim Yong Kim’s statement after his appointment

From Lima, Jim Kim has been gracious and forward-looking in his official statement after his appointment was announced.

Let’s hope that the owners and the World Bank’s board will not again waste five years trying to forget what they did wrong this time in the appointment process, so that progressive voices will not have to again sit out a fulsome and reasoned discussion of the candidates’ merits.

But let’s not spend the next two years whining about this process.  Even a flawed process can have a good outcome.

An activist’s view of why Jim Yong Kim reflects change–via Professor William Easterly

NYU’s Bill Easterly, whose early alliance with CGD’s Lant Pritchett and other critics of Jim Kim has moderated over the past few weeks, has posted an important and carefully-reasoned contribution in defence of Dr Kim, and why Lant and his fellow travelers have it wrong.

Gregg Gonsalves, a long time AIDS activist and an Open Society Foundations Fellow, points out that traditional economists are backing the status quo, Continue reading

Jim Yong Kim’s statement to the World Bank’s board

The Treasury Department has published the statement that US nominee, Jim Yong Kim, made Wednesday morning to the in camera session of the World Bank’s executive directors before a lengthy questioning and a private lunch.

CSO colleagues who have been skeptical about the process and about Jim Kim’s writings, background and commitment  should read the ending Continue reading

Race heating up, in good ways and bad–a suggestion for integrity and transparency

As the world press begins to take an interest in the selection of Robert Zoellick’s successor, last week’s events prove one thing: Having a choice of candidates, for the first time, confirms that the job of World Bank president is important, and that stakeholders care. Continue reading

Jim Kim

There is huge enthusiasm in Washington this morning, and no small measure of surprise.

A World Bank president nominee with a sense of humor and who mixes with his stakeholders.  After seven years of social awkwardness, Jim Kim’s ability to ‘mix it up’, as demonstrated in this “Dartmouth Idol” video, will be a welcome change.

A Korean-born physician and pioneer in the treatment of HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis, Kim has the breadth of experience on development issues needed to carry out the financial institution’s anti-poverty mission. He brings Continue reading

Susan Rice candidacy in trouble

Between the idle speculation about various “dream” non-candidates (Lula, Sri Mulyani, Bachelet, Ngozi), the shameless self-promotion by academics (Sachs), and the attacks on Larry Summers after the White House leaked his name a month ago, and the NGOs’ unwillingness to go beyond criticizing the selection process to specify the selection criteria and how to apply them, the rumored White House frontrunner, Susan Rice, is in trouble.

Visibility at the UN is a big asset for an international job.  In some ways it compensates for Dr. Rice’s lack of first-hand experience on development issues, and inexperience at running a big organization in the public sector.

The downside is that you make enemies.  And Russia and China are not the kind of enemies you want if the White House was thinking of you as Robert Zoellick’s successor. Continue reading

Obama advisor says why Larry Summers won’t be the US nominee

Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House advisor, made it clear in an interview why it’s just as well Larry Summers is happy as President Emeritus at Harvard.

In this Daily Beast interview Jarrett used the occasion to hint how important women are to Obama’s re-election. He enjoys solid support and higher approval ratings than his Republican challengers.

Jarrett was pretty clear: “The jobs of the future are science, engineering and math, and those are the jobs that women have shied away from,” she said. The guarantee of a strong education for every child is the magic bullet, and the administration is working toward that goal. “If you have an education, then the sky is the limit,” she said. Teaching our daughters and colleagues confidence is crucial to the formula for women’s success.”

Summers would, no doubt, agree on the future of good American jobs, and how important it is for more women to be in these STEM fields.  That’s not his reputation, alas, after his speech at Harvard before the faculty removed him, and the White House isn’t going to risk alienating a key bloc of supporters in November.

Discuss among yourselves, journalists. If the reaction to the earlier White House leak didn’t take Summers out, this interview should make it clear that Larry will be staying in Cambridge.