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.
None of us, including “A Bank Insider” know what happened in the executive session. None of us know for a fact that ‘only the African directors [spoke] for Ngozi’. Continue reading
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
Despite the fractious disagreement and impugning, there is full agreement that the Bank needs a new direction, in a new world. Continue reading
CGD President Nancy Birdsall announced on Monday that the Center for Global Development and the Washington Post would co-host “a forum where the candidates could explain their vision for the bank’s future and be questioned by the media and members of the international development community.”
This confirms that “this time is different”
For the first time the candidates offer a Continue reading
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
The latest Washington Post report on the heating up campaign talks about competition for the job. It does not say that an American won’t be chosen. It speaks to some World Bank executive directors wanting to make the selection “competitive”. This is not a bad thing because it will legitimize the selection of the American who is put forward.
But in the continuing obsession with the process Continue reading
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
After former World Bank Executive Director Moises Naim weighed in with ‘critical tips’, thoughtful commentary in the FT by former World Bank Vice Presidents, academics Ian Goldin and Danny Leipziger, and a robust rejoinder to Goldin from former World Bank staff member Percy Mistry highlight the issues the world should expect the World Bank’s owners and board to take into account as they prepare a shortlist of three, interview candidates, and select “by consensus” Robert Zoellick’s successor.
Taken together, these contributions enrich the rather bland criteria set out by the board in its announcement of what it will take into account.
What these four notes address is the Bank’s relevance in the modern world. All four hint, or say quite broadly, that there’s a problem, and that ‘something needs to be done’. Continue reading
In a CGD “wonkcast”, Nancy Birdsall sets out some excellent criteria for the next World Bank president.
Ability to “corral” the World Bank’s resident, 25-person board onto a new agenda, including perhaps letting loose their grip on how the Bank runs, day-to-day, will be key. This will involve personal and persuasive skills that the Bank has not seen much in evidence since Jim Wolfensohn’s departure nearly seven years ago. Admittedly, Wolfensohn had a rocky start, and a stormy relationship with the Executive Directors at times, but once he realized that “what’s good for the Bank is good for Jim Wolfensohn, and vice versa” he moved the Bank to a new level of respect and effectiveness, with a Board that was fully behind him. Continue reading