Zoellick’s bio: Enron, Trilateral Commission, Iraq and free trade

Robert Zoellick’s biography reveals some further interesting elements. He sat on Enron’s advisory board. This means that he should have interesting insights into corporate governance matters – one thing which the Bank’s board has pledged to fix up following the recent dramas. He must also have gained insights through his membership of the Trilateral Commission, a secretive top peoples’ club (though the official website no longer has him listed). Continue reading

worldbankpresident site overhaul complete, but can we overhaul the official process?

We established this site to open up the process for selecting a new person to run the world’s most powerful development institution. We covered the post-Wolfensohn selection process from beginning to end, and we’ve refreshed this site’s look and functionality to enhance our ability to track, comment on and – hopefully – influence who comes after Wolfowitz and what they say and do. Continue reading

Zoellick bearhug photo

So it looks like Robert Zoellick is the U.S. pick for the Bank job. There may be nominations from other governments, but now it’s time to rake over the coals and see what Zoellick has done in the past and what he would do if installed at the top of the World Bank.

As a visual break from reading serious insights into Zoellick I recommend you check out this fantastic photo of Robert Zoellick hugging a panda bear in China while on duty as Deputy Secretary of State. Continue reading

Wolfowitz hits media trail to spread blame for exit

Paul Wolfowitz has given an exclusive interview to the BBC World Service to try to explain why he is leaving the World Bank. He says the media and an overheated atmosphere were to blame, and uses his airtime to justify his record at the Bank in general and on the Riza affair. He refuses to be drawn on how his successor should be chosen but agrees that African countries are “under-represented” at the Bank. Continue reading

Another on-line survey: the WB wants your views on governance and corruption

If you like on-line consultations, here’s another one. With admirable dry humour the World Bank’s civil society team this week issued the following announcement, making no mention of the governance melt-down at the top of their institution.

“Please note that the deadline to provide web feedback to seek further comments to help inform the development of the governance and anti-corruption implementation plan has been extended to Wednesday, May 30″. Continue reading

Serious rumour of new candidate, former Bush classmate Setrakian

According to a tip-off I just received from someone who needs to remain discreet, a new candidate in the running is Vasken Setrakian. Mr Setrakian is a former classmate of President Bush from Harvard, where they both did their MBA. He is also an ex-managing director at Brown Brothers Harriman and currently runs his own Investment firm in New York.

Seems like the Harvard Crimson, a university daily that is gloating today about how many World Bank prez candidates are alumni, will have to do an update.

Why not Chirac?

French colleague Jean Merckaert, who works at CCFD writes from Paris this morning with another intriguing suggestion: “Jacques Chirac left the Elysée Palace one week ago. In his last speech as President he promised to keep active on development, environment and Africa. French media mentionned the project of a Chirac Foundation on sustainable development, with Michel Camdessus as an advisor… is that another name for the World Bank? If the World Bank presidency conferred judicial immunity he might be interested. And if governments want to take advantage of Wolfie’s resignation to put an end to the fight against corruption, then it could be a deal!” George Bush might take some persuading to put this old European on the shortlist, but if other former presidents and prime ministers are being discussed, why not Chirac?