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White House Nominates Global Health Expert Jim Yong Kim To Head World Bank

“The White House on Friday named Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College and a global health expert, as its nominee to lead the World Bank” beginning “on June 30, when its current president, Robert B. Zoellick, will step down at the end of his five-year term,” the New York Times reports (Lowrey, 3/23). “Kim is a South Korean-born doctor, anthropologist and former head of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department,” the Financial Times notes (Harding/Leahy, 3/23). “Kim helped found the international aid organization Partners in Health, which provides care to patients in more than a dozen countries,” and served as the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, according to NPR (Horsley, 3/23). At a Rose Garden ceremony to announce the nomination, President Barack Obama said, “It’s time for a development professional to lead the world’s largest development agency,” the Associated Press reports (Pace, 3/24).

The nomination “upend[ed] a seven-decade tradition of installing officials with experience in finance or diplomacy at the international development institution,” the Wall Street Journal writes, adding that Kim “would become the first nonwhite president of the World Bank if he is approved, as expected, by the bank’s board next month” (Reddy/Maylie, 3/23). “Kim faces rival candidacies from Nigerian Finance Minister and former World Bank official Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as well as from Jose Antonio Ocampo, Colombia’s former finance minister,” Bloomberg News notes, adding that a decision from the World Bank’s board is expected on April 20 (Rastello, 3/24).