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Jim Yong Kim Secures World Bank Job

Jun 20, 2012

The World Bank said in a statement: 'We all look forward to working with Dr Kim when he assumes his responsibilities.' Photograph: Andrew Harrer/EPA

Following up on a previous post, here.

The World Bank named Jim Yong Kim as its next president, maintaining a seven-decade U.S. lock on the post after the first challenge by candidates from other countries.

Dr. Kim said after his election on Monday that laying the groundwork for job creation would be his top priority, as the institution faces pressure to shift from making loans to supporting broader economic concerns.

"In every single country I've been to, they are really hoping private-sector growth can happen quickly so that jobs can be created," said Dr. Kim.
The World Bank named Korean-born doctor Jim Yong Kim as its new president today amid criticism that the role had once more gone to a US-nominated candidate.

The 52-year-old president of Ivy League college Dartmouth beat Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the post, the first time in the World Bank's history that the US candidate has faced a serious challenge.

US president Barack Obama nominated Kim to replace current World Bank chief Robert Zoellick in March. Kim, who was born in Seoul, the South Korean capital, is a public health expert – a change from the bank's usual nomination of candidate from the financial world.

The US backed France's Christine Lagarde's nomination to the top role at the IMF last year after the shock resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In return, Kim received Europe's backing for the World Bank job.

But in recent years the organisations have faced growing criticism over their US/European duopoly. Ahead of the announcement, Okonjo-Iweala said: "You know this thing is not really being decided on merit."

"It is voting with political weight and shares, and therefore the United States will get it," she told reporters at a briefing on the country's 2012 budget.

In a statement, the World Bank said: "We, the executive directors, wish to express our deep appreciation to all the nominees, Jim Yong Kim, José Antonio Ocampo and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Their candidacies enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of the World Bank group's future direction. The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high calibre of the candidates. We all look forward to working with Dr Kim when he assumes his responsibilities."

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