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worldbankpresident.org is the site you need to track media coverage, insider gossip, official reactions and civil society activity on the selection of the next World Bank president. If you are a journalist, activist, official, student or anyone wanting to follow the details of this story in real time, you’ve come to the right place.
Everyone is welcome to share the posts via the plethora of social media options available. The site is currently opening to new contributors to post information, opinions, (well founded) gossip, and pose questions. If you have any relevant information or want to become a contributor in the future, please get in touch.
History of this blog
This blog was originally set up in January 2005 when former World Bank president James Wolfensohn announced he would be retiring. We wanted to shine a light on the medieval process for choosing the head of this very powerful institution – the fact that the position has historically been hand-picked by the US government.
We subsequently tracked and informed the global reaction to the Wolfowitz appointment but decided in April 2005 to put the site on ice – but not for long. The predictions on this site about the problems Wolfowitz would cause proved true and in April 2007 we were back for another selection process. We relaunched the website again in January 2012 after rumours started circulating that Robert Zoellick planned to stand down after only one term at the Bank. The blog followed the ins and outs of what at first seemed like a more transparent selection process, but ultimately led to the appointment of the US choice, Jim Yong Kim.
In 2016 we came back again, a year ahead of the new president election. In a surprise move, the Bank kick-started a sped up process in late August, which once again failed to take on board any of civil society’s long-standing recommendations, and ended with the re-appointment of Jim Yong Kim for another five years.
Now in January 2019, as Kim “unexpectedly” announced his resignation to join a private investment firm effective at the end of January, we are back again. Alas, the show must go on… We hope that the readership will enjoy a lively discussion about the characteristics required of the Bank’s new leader and ensuring the process is finally democratic and transparent.
With new members in our blogging team and masses of energy, we will continue to provide the most active forum for democratic debate about this deeply undemocratic institution, feed journalists tips for stories, inspire activists to ramp up their challenges, and embolden more officials to speak out.
Who runs the blog?
The blog is an open platform – bloggers write in their personal capacities and are not paid. The small cost of designing and hosting the site is paid for by the Bretton Woods Project – see their annual report for full details about them.