World Bank President Jim Yong Kim Announces Resignation More Than 3 Years Ahead Of Term’s End

Bloomberg: Jim Yong Kim Stepping Down Early as World Bank President at End of Month
“Jim Yong Kim abruptly resigned as president of the World Bank more than three years ahead of schedule, potentially sparking an international tussle over who replaces him as the Trump administration questions the development lender’s purpose. Kristalina Georgieva, the bank’s second in command, will take over as interim president on Feb. 1, the Washington-based bank said Monday in a statement. In an email to employees of the lender, Kim said he’ll join a private firm focused on infrastructure investments in developing countries…” (Mayeda, 1/7).

Devex: Jim Kim’s resignation sparks questions about the next World Bank president
“…As the largest shareholder, the United States controls the selection process for the World Bank’s presidency, regularly appointing an American to the role in a tradition that has been criticized in recent years. Now, with Trump administration rhetoric that is critical of multilateralism, there are concerns over whom it may nominate to run the world’s largest multilateral development bank…” (Edwards, 1/8).

The Guardian: Jim Yong Kim resigns as World Bank president
“…Before Kim took over, the bank laid down criteria for appointing future presidents, which were designed to exclude officials with little experience of running large organizations or who lacked relevant experience, especially in the developing world. However, Trump is expected to use his effective power of veto to make sure a close adviser or a sympathetic political figure takes over. A senior official at an international charity, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was concerned that the World Bank’s aid efforts could be badly affected if the appointment became a political football…” (Inman, 1/7).

New York Times: World Bank President Abruptly Resigns
“…The Trump administration did surprise some development experts last year when it supported a $13 billion capital increase for the World Bank, the first such boost since 2010. The increase, which the White House had initially resisted, was conditional on the bank putting cost controls in place and came with the understanding that lending to China would be expected to decline. The bank lent $64 billion to developing countries last year, a figure that included China…” (Rappeport, 1/7).

Reuters: World Bank’s Kim abruptly resigns to join infrastructure firm
“…Kim said details about his new job would be released later. The physician and former Dartmouth College president said he would also rejoin the board of Partners in Health, a health advocacy group he co-founded 30 years ago. … Two people familiar with Kim’s shock announcement to the World Bank executive board said he was leaving of his own accord and was ‘not pushed out’ by the Trump administration…” (Lawder, 1/7).

Wall Street Journal: World Bank President Resigns to Join Investment Firm
“…The U.S. Treasury Department … takes the lead on issues with the World Bank, and would likely be the agency on the front lines of any fight to appoint his successor. A Treasury representative said in a statement: ‘We appreciate Mr. Kim’s service to the World Bank,’ adding that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ‘looks forward to working with his fellow governors in selecting a new lead’…” (Zumbrun, 1/7).

Washington Post: World Bank chief Jim Kim to leave post on Feb. 1, sparking potential succession battle
“… ‘It has been a great honor to serve as president of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime,’ Kim said in a statement. ‘The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine, and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity’…” (Whalen/Lynch, 1/7).

Additional coverage of Kim’s resignation is available from Associated Press, Al Jazeera, CNN, Financial Times, and Quartz.

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