The selection of Jim Yong Jim as the world bank presidentBy David Theis
Editor's note: He was selected ahead of Nigeria's finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become the 12th World Bank Group President in a process Dr. Iwela described as favouritism. The other contestant, Colombian Ocambo, withdrew for what he described as unfair selection
The Executive Directors followed the new selection process agreed in 2011 which, for the first time in the Bank’s history, yielded multiple nominees.
This process included an open nomination where any national of the Bank’s membership could be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor, publication of the names of the candidates, interviews of the candidates by the Executive Directors, and final selection of the President.
The Executive Directors selected Dr. Jim Yong Kim as President for a five-year term beginning on July 1, 2012. The President is Chair of the Boards of Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The President is also ex officio Chair of the Boards of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
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 caliber of the candidates. We all look forward to working with Dr. Kim when he assumes his responsibilities.
Dr. Kim was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship (2003), was named one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by US News & World Report (2005), and was selected as one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” (2006). He was elected in 2004 to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences—one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine—for his professional achievements and commitment to service. He has published widely over the past two decades, authoring or co-authoring articles for leading academic and scientific journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and Science.
Born in 1959 in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Kim moved with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. Dr. Kim graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1982. He earned a medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School in 1991 and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University in 1993. He is married to Dr. Younsook Lim, a pediatrician. The couple has two young sons.
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