Kim named World Bank president
President Barack Obama shakes hands with newly announced nominee for president of the World Bank, Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Ki, March 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. Kim, who is seen as a surprise pick, is a Korean born physician that is reportedly prominent in global health circles.
April 16th, 2012
03:38 PM ET

Kim named World Bank president

President Obama's nominee to head the World Bank was selected by the bank's board of directors on Monday in the first contested nominating process in the bank's history. Here's some background the bank's decision from CNN Money:

Throughout its more-than-60-year history, the bank has been led by an American, part of a tacit agreement between the United States and its Western European allies. Europe, in turn, has maintained control of the International Monetary Fund.

The United States and Europe together have roughly 50% of voting shares, which are based on money paid into the bank.

But the challenges from Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian finance head Jose Antonio Ocampo - who withdrew from the race last week and endorsed the Nigerian - raised questions about how much longer the current leadership arrangement will remain tenable.

In 2010, the United States and other World Bank shareholder-countries pledged support for an "open, merit-based and transparent" selection process. Such declarations have been met with cynicism by emerging market nations, however.

In a statement last week withdrawing his candidacy, Ocampo said the selection process was "shifting from a strict merit-based competition ... into a more political-oriented exercise."

The president issued the following statement on the bank's decision:

On behalf of the United States, I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr. Jim Yong Kim on his selection as the next President of the World Bank.  I am confident that Dr. Kim will be an inclusive leader who will bring to the Bank a passion for and deep knowledge of development, a commitment to sustained economic growth, and the ability to respond to complex challenges and seize new opportunities. I appreciate the strong support offered to Dr. Kim from leaders around the world.

I am also pleased that this has been an open and transparent process, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding qualifications and commitment of the other two candidates.  I look forward to working with Dr. Kim and our partners throughout the world in support of a strong and effective World Bank.

For more on the process and the bank's decision, check out CNN Money's full write here.


Topics: President Obama • World Bank