U.S. Senator John Kerry and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations are reported to have been mentioned as possible candidates to head the World Bank.
Indra Nooyi, the chairman and chief executive officer of soft drink maker PepsiCo, is also said to be on the short list of candidates compiled by the Obama administration to succeed Bank President Robert Zoellick. Zoellick is stepping down from the post when his term ends in June.
A spokesperson for Kerry says he has not been contacted about the World Bank post, and would not be interested.
Under an informal agreement dating back to World War II, the United States traditionally selects the president of the World Bank, while a European is picked to lead the International Monetary Fund. But the the world's emerging economies, especially the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), have called for a more open process in order to identify a qualified candidate from a variety of nations.
World Bank officials are taking nominations for Zoellick's successor until March 23.
Other potential candidates include Lawrence Summers, President Barack Obama's former economic advisor and a former Treasury Secretary, and current U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, although Clinton has said she is not interested in the job.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.