Jim Yong Kim named 12th World Bank president


Jim Yong Kim arrives at the Finance Ministry in the Brazilian capital for an audience with Finance Minister Guido Mantega on April 5.



NEW YORK - Dashing the hopes of a developing-world presidency, the World Bank has again chosen Washington’s nominee to lead the anti-poverty behemoth.

Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim will succeed former US diplomat Robert Zoellick as the Bank’s 12th president at the end of June, according to The Washington Post.

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Developing countries had hoped to break the 66-year tradition of nominating an American to the Bank (part of an unwritten agreement that makes a European the head of the International Monetary Fund). While that did not happen, The Post said Kim was also an unconventional choice.

Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was a rival and former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo also ran but withdrew and in favor of Okonjo-Iweala. A World Bank statement announcing the decision made no mention of consensus among board members about the decision, according to The Post.

The decision marked the first time that the board had considered more than one nominee and still its choice came as no surprise, according to The New York Times.

Europe, the US and Japan, the Bank’s major backers, control about half of the board’s voting shares.

Kim will be only the second World Bank president to born outside the US: Kim was born in South Korea and the ninth president, James Wolfensohn, was born in Australia but immigrated to the US.

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Not having worked in finance and government, Kim holds both an MD and PhD in anthropology and his career has focused on the delivery of HIV/AIDS and TB treatments to impoverished regions.