Jim Yong Kim Confirmed as World Bank President

By Jack Palmer 04-16-2012
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Jim Yong Kim, stands while being announced by U.S. President Barack Obama on March 23. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Surprise nominee Dr. Jim Yong Kim has today been chosen as the next President of the World Bank, The Washington Post reports.

Currently serving as President of Dartmouth College, Dr. Kim was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama last month. His selection as the President’s nominee was seen as a surprising one, as the Post reports:

Kim’s selection marks a break from previous World Bank leaders who were typically political, legal or economic figures [while] Kim, 52, [is] a physician and pioneer in treating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in the developing world.

His nomination was confirmed by the Bank’s 25-member executive board, which had three candidates to choose between:

Developing countries had put forward two candidates for the post: Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo. Both argued that it was time to break the hold the United States has had on the World Bank job and provide a greater voice for developing nations. On Friday, Ocampo announced that he was withdrawing and throwing his support to Okonjo-Iweala.

Today, in a statement released by The White House, President Obama congratulated Dr. Kim on his selection:

On behalf of the United States, I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr. Jim Yong Kim on his selection as the next President of the World Bank.  I am confident that Dr. Kim will be an inclusive leader who will bring to the Bank a passion for and deep knowledge of development, a commitment to sustained economic growth, and the ability to respond to complex challenges and seize new opportunities. I appreciate the strong support offered to Dr. Kim from leaders around the world.

I am also pleased that this has been an open and transparent process, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding qualifications and commitment of the other two candidates.  I look forward to working with Dr. Kim and our partners throughout the world in support of a strong and effective World Bank.

Dr. Kim will officially take up his new post 1 July.

Jack Palmer is a communications assistant at Sojourners. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackPalmer88.

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