In a CGD “wonkcast”, Nancy Birdsall sets out some excellent criteria for the next World Bank president.
Ability to “corral” the World Bank’s resident, 25-person board onto a new agenda, including perhaps letting loose their grip on how the Bank runs, day-to-day, will be key. This will involve personal and persuasive skills that the Bank has not seen much in evidence since Jim Wolfensohn’s departure nearly seven years ago. Admittedly, Wolfensohn had a rocky start, and a stormy relationship with the Executive Directors at times, but once he realized that “what’s good for the Bank is good for Jim Wolfensohn, and vice versa” he moved the Bank to a new level of respect and effectiveness, with a Board that was fully behind him. Continue reading →
As we closed the World Bank president poll this week, over 15,000 people had voted for their favourite developing country candidate.
The result? Well, our friends in Indonesia came out in force, resulting in a landslide victory for Sri Mulyani Indrawati, an Indonesian economist and one of the current Managing Directors of the World Bank Group, who beat her opponents with a staggering 87% of the votes.
There has been endless speculation in the media, fueled by CSO activism bordering on fantasy and hissy-fits, about names rumored and leaked to be in the running to replace Robert Zoellick on July 1.
Now is the time to tell the owners of the Bank, who will nominate candidates, and the Board, who will choose from among the three they shortlist, what profile the next World Bank president should have, beyond the generic criteria that the Development Committee endorsed. Continue reading →
It looks like things may be about to hot up. The BRICS group of major emerging market economies, meeting in the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Mexico said they will discuss whether to put forward their own candidate. Continue reading →
An interesting recent article by Environment and Energy Publishing outlines a dilemma for environmentalists advocating for change at the World Bank. Green groups have long-called for a more democratic institution that genuinely addresses both poverty and environmental destruction in developing countries, and have often been prominent in arguing against the archaic convention that sees the US president appoint the Bank’s leader. But, on the other hand many environmentalists acknowledge that any potential candidate from the BRICs may put less of an emphasis on environmental issues than the US. Continue reading →