Dartmouth College President Will Head World Bank

Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images

Jim Yong Kim will take over the World Bank presidency this summer

It’s official: Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim will head the World Bank starting in July.  But the New York Times’ Annie Lowrey reports that this time around, the board’s vote was more than just a rubber-stamping process:

“While the selection of Dr. Kim by the bank’s 25-member executive board was no surprise, the board had, for the first time, considered more than one candidate, a reflection of the increasing clout of emerging-market nations on the global stage.”

Kim faced challenges from Nigerian Finance Minister and former World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Colombian José Antonio Ocampo of the UN, who formerly worked with the Colombian Central Bank.  But, Lowrey reports, they were long-shots.  That’s because “Europe, the United States and Japan control about half of the voting shares.” 

What their candidacies did do, she writes, is pump some life into the old debate about whether an American should always be in charge of the DC-based World Bank.  As an acknowledgement of their growing influence, Lowrey notes that Kim worked to cultivate support for his candidacy among emerging markets with a listening tour.  She also cites recent comments:

“In a recent interview, Dr. Kim stressed that he wanted to make the bank as inclusive as possible, while achieving its mission of eradicating poverty and supporting economic development.

He also said he wanted to make the bank’s programs more data-driven. ‘There’s no one-size-fits-all. There’s no big idea that will lead to economic growth for everybody,’ he said. ‘I think we must be evidence-based and evidence-driven, and we must pay attention to local contexts.’”

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