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World Bank Presidential Nominee Kim Begins 7-Country ‘Listening Tour’ To Promote Candidacy

The White House nominee for president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, on Tuesday begins a seven-country “listening tour” in order “to promote his candidacy with stops in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Treasury Department announced Monday,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports (Crutsinger, 3/26). According to Reuters, “The Treasury Department said Kim will visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, New Delhi, Brasilia and Mexico City between March 27 and April 9 to meet heads of state, finance ministers and others to talk about priorities for the World Bank.”

Kim, a physician and anthropologist who currently is president of Dartmouth College, “will be contesting two nominees from emerging market countries — Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo — for the World Bank’s top job,” Reuters notes (3/27). In an interview with Reuters released on Monday, Okonjo-Iweala said that “emerging market countries … need to be given a voice in running things,” and added that she would not “have a learning curve” moving into a leadership position at the World Bank. “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Reuters over the weekend that he was confident that Kim … would win global support for the job,” the news agency reports, adding, “Through his work in fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and getting health care to the poor, Kim had shown an ability to get things done in tough environments, Geithner said” (Wroughton, 3/26).

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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.