The World Bank’s board published its timeline and criteria for selection last week and it’s a cut and paste from the last time there was a proper selection process in 2012 (we won’t count 2016 as there was no pretense that anyone other than the incumbent should apply).
The main critique I made of the process in 2012 still stands now:
But here’s the most damning point. The list of qualifications for the job does not mention the need to know anything about developing countries, or anything about poverty reduction.
The obvious reason for this is that the US has a track record of finding it difficult to rustle up candidates who have this kind of experience – in this regard Jim Kim was a rare exception, even if his experience was very thin on other elements of the job description.
Prior to Kim, we had:
- Bob Zoellick (2007-12): US government trade rep, Goldman Sachs banker etc. Development experience: very limited
- Paul Wolfowitz (2005-7): US government official, academic, neo-con etc. Development experience: very limited
- James Wolfensohn (1995-2005): Investment banker, cello player etc. Development experience: extremely limited
- Etc etc
Jim Yong Kim announced on 7 January he is leaving the World Bank for the private sector. Credit: World Bank.
World Bank Group (WBG) President Jim Yong Kim announced his resignation on Monday, 7 January, to the apparent surprise of the World Bank’s Board of Directors and senior staff.
In a letter to staff, Kim indicated that his departure was “unexpected”, and that he would be joining a private investment firm, stating that “this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets.” On 9 January, it was announced that Kim will join Global Infrastructure Partners as a Vice Chairman and Partner.
Since Kim’s shock announcement, questions have swirled about why he chose to depart with more than three years remaining on his second term – he was re-appointed in September 2016 – and indeed whether his new role represents a potential conflict of interest, given the Bank’s aggressive promotion of mobilising private finance for infrastructure projects under his leadership. Continue reading
As reported earlier today by the AFP, “In an open letter, 39 former managers and economists called on the Bank’s executive board to make their decision on merit, when the board considers more than one candidate for the job for the first time.”
Here is the letter in full: Continue reading
Increased rumours this week proved to be right as Zoellick just announced today that he will step down at the end of his first term as World Bank president, on 30 June. Reacting to the announcement, a global coalition of campaigners has issued an open letter to World Bank governors calling for an open and merit-based process to elect the next Bank president, and for developing countries to determine the selection: Continue reading
Yes, Zoellick’s term is up this year, and the rumour mill is going into overdrive – most suggesting that he’s gonna step down so he can return to his first love: Republican Party politics.
So we’ve redesigned and relaunched your favourite blog site (check out all those social media buttons) where you can get all the news, views, and gossip about how his successor should be selected, who should get the job, and what their priorities should be. Multiple professor (at both Canadian and Indian universities) Sunil Chacko already got the ball rolling with a recent Huffington Post article.
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