Lifestyle & Belief

Jim Yong Kim: 5 things you didn't know about the World Bank nominee


President Obama announces the nomination of Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim (2nd L) for president of the World Bank, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) stands beside him, March 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. Kim, who is seen as a surprise pick, is a Korean born physician prominent in global health circles.


Win McNamee

The Obama administration turned a lot of heads Friday morning, with the surprise announcement of Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim as its nomination for the head of the World Bank. Here are five things you didn't know about the likely next leader of the worlds largest development agency.

More from GlobalPost: Jim Yong Kim, Dartmouth President, nominated to head World Bank

1. Born in 1959 in Seoul, the South Korea native moved with his family to the US at the age of 5, and was raised in Muscatine, Iowa, where he was a star quarterback of the high school football team and point-guard on the basketball team. Sports still figure prominently in Kim's life, and he is still active in basketball, volleyball, tennis and golf.

2. Kim graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1982, was awarded an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1991, and earned his Ph. D in Anthropology there in 1993. On July 1, 2009, Kim became Dartmouth's 17th President, and the first Asian-American president of an Ivy League institution, and he's certainly one of the first presidents to appear decked out in white shades and leather studded jacket, dancing and rapping for Dartmouth Idol. (Wait for the 2:05 mark!)

3. An expert in tuberculosis, Kim has chaired a number of committees on international TB policy. He has conducted extensive research into effective and affordable strategies for treating strains of TB that are resistant to standard drugs. While at the World Health Organization, Kim was responsible for coordinating HIV efforts with the TB department. 

4. Kim co-founded the Global Health Delivery Project, a joint initiative with Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Business School, to research how to more effectively approach world health. Kim’s team has also developed a web-based “community of practice,”, to allow practitioners around the world to easily access information, share expertise, and engage in real-time problem solving.

5. Kim has 20 years of experience in improving health in developing countries. He is a founding trustee and the former executive director of Partners In Health, a not-for-profit organization that supports a range of health programs in poor communities in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi and the United States. His nomination underscores the importance of global health in the developing world, bringing the issue on to the same playing level as finance.