Blog Posts Respond To Selection Of Jim Yong Kim To Lead World Bank

The World Bank on Monday selected U.S.-nominated Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American physician and anthropologist, as its new president. The following is a summary of blog posts and commentary published in response to his election.

  • Roger Bate, American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) “EnterpriseBlog”: “Much as expected, Dr. Jim Kim, President Obama’s nominee, is to become the new head of the World Bank,” Bate, a Legatum Fellow in global prosperity at AEI, writes, noting, “Many articles and blog posts have decried his lack of economic policy experience, which is normally considered crucial at the World Bank.” He continues, “[W]hile this concern is undoubtedly true, most commentators assume that since he is a health expert, he’ll at least be good for global public health. I beg to differ.” Bate highlights a WHO initiative run by Kim, which “failed to hit its target,” to support his argument (4/17).
  • Devi Sridhar, Chatham House’s “Expert Comment”: “The nomination by the U.S. Government of physician Jim Yong Kim for the World Bank Presidency triggered the usual debate over the fairness of the electoral process, as well as intense scrutiny of Kim’s qualifications and experience,” Sridhar, an associate fellow at Chatham’s Centre on Global Health Security, writes. “But missing in all this furor was what the appointment of Dr. Kim, a leading figure in global health and a former director of the HIV/AIDS department at the World Health Organization, would mean for global health,” she continues, concluding, “Kim now has an opportunity to make the Bank an admired leader in global health — one that recognizes that health is special and unlike any other commodity” (4/17).
  • Barbara Stocking, Financial Times’ “beyondbrics” blog: “Jim Yong Kim will be aware that the World Bank is at a crossroads, and that he will need to steer it to a new mandate and fresh direction,” Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam Great Britain, writes. “A key contribution the Bank can make right now to tackle inequality is to aggressively work with countries to help them abolish health user fees and expand access to good quality education. Poor people need to be able to go to the doctor and send their children to school without paying — otherwise they can’t and won’t,” she argues (4/17).

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