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World Bank Selects U.S. Nominee Jim Kim As President

“The World Bank on Monday chose Korean-born American health expert Jim Yong Kim as its new president, maintaining Washington’s grip on the job and leaving developing countries frustrated with the selection process,” Reuters reports (Wroughton, 4/16). “The 52-year-old president of Ivy League college Dartmouth beat Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the post, the first time in the World Bank’s history that the U.S. candidate has faced a serious challenge,” the Guardian writes (Rushe, 4/16). “The Korean-American physician and anthropologist, who spent decades working on diseases such as tuberculosis and the AIDS virus, will be the bank’s first leader drawn from the development world rather than politics or finance,” the Wall Street Journal notes (Reddy, 4/16).

“Some watchers had theorized that in choosing Dr. Kim, who has spent much of his career working with those in dire poverty, the United States might be signaling a shift in the bank’s mission, focusing more on very poor countries and less on emerging markets,” but “since his nomination, Dr. Kim has stressed that he intends to keep the bank’s mandate as broad as possible,” according to the New York Times (Lowrey, 4/16). “Kim said after his election on Monday that laying the groundwork for job creation would be his top priority, as the institution faces pressure to shift from making loans to supporting broader economic concerns,” the Wall Street Journal writes (4/16). Kim will begin his five-year term on July 1, a World Bank Group press release states (4/16).