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U.S. Must Embrace Competitive Election Process For World Bank Presidency To Support Kim’s Nomination

In this New York times opinion piece, Thomas Bollyky, senior fellow for global health, economics and development at the Council on Foreign Relations, comments on the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s nomination of Jim Yong Kim for the World Bank presidency, writing, “For the first time since the World Bank’s creation at the end of World War II, the United States is facing a real challenge over the bank’s leadership. Leaders of some developing and emerging economies have refused to support President Obama’s unexpected choice of Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, to lead the bank.” However, “[a]s the bank’s executive board prepares to vote on April 18, the Americans are likely to get their way, since an 85 percent supermajority of the bank’s voting shares are needed to appoint a president, and the United States is the largest shareholder,” he continues.

“Critics say that Dr. Kim lacks basic qualifications for the job: government management experience and expertise in macroeconomics and finance,” but “[h]e is revered by public health advocates for his work on HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant tuberculosis as a World Health Organization official and as a founder of the advocacy and research organization Partners in Health,” Bollyky writes. He concludes, “President Obama has made an inspired nomination of an unconventional candidate to lead the World Bank back into relevance. The United States must now vindicate that choice by embracing a competitive election process that would give Dr. Kim the mandate he needs to advance the interests of the world’s poor, as well as America’s interests” (4/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.