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Opinion Pieces, Editorial Respond To Nomination Of Jim Yong Kim To Lead World Bank

On Friday, March 23, President Obama nominated Jim Yong Kim to be the next president of the World Bank. The following is a summary of several opinion pieces and an editorial published in response to his nomination.

  • Zachary Karabell, The Daily Beast: “Jim Yong Kim is neither a power player in Washington nor a well-known political figure globally. Nor is he a banker of repute,” Karabell, president of River Twice Research and River Twice Capital and contributing editor for The Daily Beast, writes, adding, “Obama has clearly made a bold, unorthodox choice. In Dr. Kim, he has embraced a vision of the bank as an agent of positive change in the world; as a source of funds and ideas, but with an eye toward enabling local communities to determine their own arc” (3/24).
  • Steve Denning, Forbes: Though the World Bank has “talented staff” and “remains the world’s premier source of development expertise,” it “now suffers from lack of mission clarity, inappropriate strategies, systems and processes to achieve its mission, eroding skills, and a business model that is broken,” Denning, author and consultant on leadership, innovation, management and business narrative, writes, adding, “Some are encouraged that the U.S. nominee, Kim, is different from his predecessors in several respects — an Asian-American with real development experience. Others are dismayed that he is not another banker or a world figure” (3/24).
  • Muhammad Zaman, Huffington Post’s “World”: The World Bank “needs someone who is methodical, rational and detail-oriented. It needs the logical approach of an academic and the pragmatism of a practitioner who is cognizant of local constraints and global challenges. Jim Yong Kim, an academic and a physician, a practitioner and a visionary leader in global health, brings these skills,” Zaman, director of the engineering education and development laboratory at Boston University, writes, adding, “In my mind he is a great choice by President Obama to lead the institution, but not because of his heritage or because he is not a Washington insider. … It is his deep conviction to change the status quo in global health, and his innovations in both research and practice that set him apart” (3/25).
  • Washington Post: President Obama “needed to find a nominee known not so much for political connections in Washington as for a demonstrated ability to carry on the bank’s mission of fostering development, especially in the poorest countries. We believe Mr. Obama has done just that in choosing Jim Yong Kim, a physician who has dedicated most of his career to delivering health care to destitute people worldwide,” this Washington Post editorial states (3/23).