World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim gets another term

15 Sep 2016


Current World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has been nominated for another term in the absence of any fresh nomination, the Washington-based international lender said on Wednesday.

The World Bank has had an American chosen by Washington as its head ever since it was created in the wake of World War II to help rebuild the global economy and Washington this time opted to extend Kim's term rather than choose a fresh candidate.

The bank has no choice than face criticism for not truly opening the selection process to all comers and not managing it in a fully transparent mode.

The board of executive directors of the World Bank on Wednesday confirmed the re-nomination of incumbent president Jim Yong Kim as the World Bank Group president for another term in the absence of another nominee for the post.

World Bank had, on 23 August, announced that the period for submitting nominations for the position of president of the World Bank Group will close at 6 pm on 14 September.

''One candidate, current World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, has been nominated,'' a World Bank release stated.

In accordance with the procedures previously announced, the Executive Directors will meet with the candidate in Washington, DC, with the expectation of completing the selection process by the 2016 Annual Meetings.

While in 2012, Kim faced some competition when Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also contended for the presidency, this time round there were no rivals as the three-week nomination period ended unnoticed.

Kim, 56, a Korean-American medical doctor who has focused the World Bank on programs to reduce extreme poverty, earned solid backing for a second term from the United States, France, Germany, China, and other major shareholders of the bank.

Kim, however, faced rebellion from within the bank over an ambitious and still-incomplete restructuring of its poverty-alleviation and development programmes, which has a current billing of $46 billion.

The World Bank Group Staff Association, had, in an open letter in August, called for a more open and focused search and selection process that did not repeat "decades of backroom deals which, 12 times in a row, selected an American male."

A survey among the 15,000-strong World Bank staff has revealed that there is a feeling of detachment from senior management and the staff is more or less unsure of the direction of policy.

"Only one in three understand where the senior management team is leading us," the Staff Association said in its letter.

"Even fewer believe that our senior management creates a culture of openness and trust."

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