News

American Seeks World Bank's Top Job

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) introduces Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim as his nominee to be the next president of the World Bank, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, March 23, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) introduces Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim as his nominee to be the next president of the World Bank, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, March 23, 2012.

Top World  Bank officials will soon decide which of three candidates will become president of the global development institution.  Two of the candidates are finance experts - Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo. The  U.S. nominee is global health expert Jim Yong Kim.

"They have more than doubled the number of people on treatment in the last 18 months," said Kim. "This is movement in the area of HIV/AIDS the like of which we’ve never seen before."

Over the course of his career, Jim Yong Kim, a medical doctor, has headed efforts to fight AIDS at the United Nations, founded a non-government organization that promotes health care around the world, and taught at Harvard's schools of medicine and public health.  He is now the president of Dartmouth College.

The Korean-born U.S. citizen impressed President Barack Obama, who nominated him for the World Bank job.

"It's time for a development professional to lead the world’s largest development agency," said Obama.

Japan’s Finance Minister Jun Azumi says Kim's work at the World Health Organization was impressive.

"He was a great success on the AIDS problem. He is an extremely suitable candidate for president of the World Bank," said Azumi.

Some development experts, though, say the bank focuses on promoting economic growth to pay for health care, education, and infrastructure.  

World Bank veteran Uri Dadush is now with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"His [Kim’s] background is actually very narrow.  Focused on health, whereas the bank has maybe 20 different sectors of activity," said Dadush.

Nancy Birsdall of the Center for Global Development says Kim may change the World Bank’s culture.

"He [Kim] is very keen on what I would call developing a learning culture, based on evidence, that the role of the bank as a knowledge bank should be emphasized," she said.

Birdsall says Kim is likely to push the bank harder to form partnerships with emerging nations, do more listening, and be quick to learn from projects that fail and apply those lessons to new areas.

The World Bank's president has always been an American, but many major emerging economies want more of a say in the choice of leadership.

While this is the first time there have been multiple candidates, many stories in the financial news say U.S. political and financial clout mean Kim will probably get the job.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Zuberi
April 15, 2012 11:04 PM
I think it is the time the world should consider African choice, as it has been regarded as underdeloped continent for so many years. Why not give opportunity the African candidate!!? After all she is the only female candidate available in the list, is it not what you preach for? Gender equality!!?

by: NVO
April 12, 2012 10:19 AM
REVELATION 13:16 will happen in THIS generation! Be forewarned.

by: Cha Cha Cohen
April 09, 2012 12:56 AM
We need a real man like DSK(!) a real fit for WORLD BANK, a man with CHARACTER(!) and a thoughtful SOCIALIST(!) banker, a true PHILANTHROPIST(!), a true HERO(!) fit for our WORLD(!).A true person fit to join the LEADERS OF THE WORLD(!)

by: hamad part 1 of 1
April 07, 2012 2:55 PM
Jim Yong Kim has Not had any financial experiences .So, how could you nominate him to hold this sensitive position in this critical period? Because "He was a great success on the AIDS problem" , you should award the next president of the World Bank to him . In which sick logic what could be acceptable? Obama has disclosed his failed policy by his hands . Who opposes Kim, Obama will fire him immediately without any hesitation. He could issue another individual mandate to pass his nominee.

by: NVO
April 07, 2012 2:11 PM
Do you have the microchip embedded into your right hand or forehead? If so, apply for the job. If not, you need NOT apply. The World Bank is as corrupt as the EU, The Trilateral Commission, The Club of Rome, The Bilderbergs, The Rockefellers, The Rothschilds, The Clintons. The list goes on and on. New World Order is ON THE RISE!

by: Augustina Maduakor Ugo, R.N., M.S.N., P H.D (c)
April 07, 2012 10:06 AM
I want to congratulate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for being one of the candidates being considered for this position. She has protrayed a good example for women of high academic integrity and honesty to get to this point of the race, and from Nigeria.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs