Succession planning is already underway at World Bank, the media have speculated at length about possible replacements, and Zoellick continues to tantalise Bankwatchers by keeping mum. But hold on, this is the wrong way round, isn’t it?
Zoellick was selected in 2007, the year before the Bank’s governors, the G20 and virtually every related international institution you can think of began repeatedly promising we’d have a merit-based process next time. Well, next time is now. No matter what Zoellick wants, the Bank’s board should organise a transparent process for his successor, even if Zoellick decides he wants another shot.
So, when should they do this? Well, the new Pres would have to start in July, so let’s give them a couple of months to wind down previous commitments, relocate to DC etc etc. Too short, probably, but hey ho, the clock’s a ticking.
That means select someone by end April. Let’s give the board a few weeks to haggle over the final choice and say the interviews take place in early April. May take longer as an 85 per cent vote in favour is needed, but time’s a pressin’.
Each candidate will want to hit the campaign trail, and make themselves available for public interviews, discussions with relevant stakeholders and the odd photo op. So let’s give them an ungenerous six weeks for that.
Which would mean nominations should close mid February. For a top job like this you’d want a decent chunk of time before then to let people know, set out the process and organise any head-hunting exercises to encourage people to apply and so on. Say another 6 weeks.I know, I know, too short, but we need to get this thing moving.