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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

World Bank President Jim Kim on Climate, Global Public Goods

World Bank president Jim Kim delivered a speech and responded to questions today at Brookings in his first public event since taking the helm at the world’s top development organization on July 1.  He struck me as thoughtful, well-informed, articulate and dedicated to multilateralism and the bank’s mission of reducing global poverty. You can see his speech and the Q&A here.

EBRD Raises the Bar for International Appointments

On Friday evening, the governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development   (EBRD) selected a new president: British civil servant Sir Suma Chakrabarti. The decision is important because the EBRD has recently taken on a major global challenge: assisting the countries of the Arab Spring.  It also matters because the selection process raised the bar for open, transparent and merit-based leadership selection at other international institutions, including the World Bank, IMF and the other regional development banks.

It’s Not an IDA World Anymore

This is a joint post with Christian Meyer.

One of the pressing questions for Jim Kim in the years ahead as the World Bank’s new president is what to do as many countries graduate out of IDA, the bank’s fund for grants and concessional loans to the poorest countries. To generate ideas and possible directions for IDA’s business model, CGD has convened a Future of IDA Working Group. The group’s final report with recommendations is due out in early summer, in time for ample discussion prior to the IDA 16 Mid-Term Review this fall.

CGD and Washington Post to Host Sessions with World Bank President Candidates

It matters a lot who runs the World Bank and it matters how the president is selected. So it’s heartening to see the reforms to the World Bank leadership selection process making a difference this time. Multiple candidates have been nominated. Three will be interviewed by the bank’s executive board next week. For the first time since the bank was created in 1944 there is competition. The process is also more open than ever before.

World Bank Presidency: José Antonio Ocampo Nomination a Breakthrough, Too

Some excellent candidates to head the World Bank and the IMF never get nominated because they lack the support of their own country—usually because the party they are affiliated with is not in power at the critical moment.  Consider, for example, Ernesto Zedillo, a former president of Mexico who now heads the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

Three Questions to Ask the Three Candidates to Lead the World Bank

The Obama Administration, whether by design or by accident, has opened the door for the first time in the World Bank’s history to the possibility of a real contest over the merits of its nominee to take the helm there compared to a nominee from the developing world. All three candidates have experience working on development (and that is a refreshing change from the tradition of financiers and political heavyweights at the helm). But their strengths are different. In the case of Kim, the U.S.

Next World Bank President: Two Non-U.S. Candidates for the Short List

This post is joint with Arvind Subramanian

The next World Bank president will need the legitimacy and wide support that only an open and merit-based selection process can ensure. This is now commonly agreed. The best way to ensure legitimacy is to have more than one serious candidate. The Obama administration is sure to nominate a strong candidate. Obama cannot be seen to be relinquishing the right of the United States to name an American, especially in this election year. But the U.S. has signaled its willingness to participate in an open and competitive and process. And the Bank’s board has called for nominations from all member states, which the board says it will then narrow to a short list of three.

Does It Matter Who Runs the World Bank?

With Robert Zoellick’s announcement that he will step down from the World Bank presidency at the end of June, now comes the question of who his successor will be, particularly whether it will be an American.  Just a few days ago I commented on the awkwardness of the situation for the White House.

The Next World Bank President: A White House Stuck between Promises and Political Realities

World Bank president Robert Zoellick has announced he will step down at the end of his term in June. In this post written shortly before the announcement, Nancy Birdsall offers advice to the White House on about how to proceed.

The insider talk on the next World Bank president is heating up, with rumors that Robert Zoellick will formally initiate the process in the United States system shortly by indicating to the White House that he will step down at the end of his term in June.

Then begins the collision in the White House between its promises to the global community and political realities at home. The collision boils down to the question of whether or not the White House will try to ensure that the longstanding U.S. privilege of picking World Bank presidents prevails once more—arguing that the Europeans after all got their way on another European at the IMF last summer. (For more on this issue, go to the updated CGD Initiative page on the Future of the World Bank here or a Bretton Woods Project site on the World Bank president here).

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