Economic Affairs

Picking the World Bank chief: Contest needed, not coronation

For too long, realpolitik and US strategic interests have dominated who gets the job.

The top job at the World Bank is unexpectedly up for grabs. Out of the blue, its incumbent president, the Korean-American Jim Yong Kim announced his resignation on Jan 7, saying he will step down on Feb 1 to join a private equity firm. He is leaving with more than three years remaining till the end of his second term.

The resulting vacancy has raised a big question: Will Dr Kim's successor be an American male, for the 13th time in a row?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2019, with the headline 'Picking the World Bank chief: Contest needed, not coronation'. Print Edition | Subscribe