The president of the World Bank, American Robert Zoellick, says he will leave his post when his five-year term expires June 30.
Zoellick announced his resignation Wednesday, saying that he was pleased that the Washington-based organization had expanded its programs during his tenure, lending $247 billion to developing countries to boost their economic growth and help overcome poverty. He said the bank had been reformed in a way that made it "quicker, more effective and more open."
No successor was named by the bank's board. Under an informal agreement since the bank's founding 68 years ago, its president has always been an American, while the head of the International Monetary Fund has been a European. The IMF is currently headed by former French finance minister Christine Lagarde. The U.S. is the World Bank's largest shareholder.
Before taking over the presidency of the World Bank, the 58-year-old Zoellick had served as the U.S. Trade Representative and as Deputy Secretary of State in the administration of former U.S. president George W. Bush.