It's One World Out There: The Global Consensus on Selecting the World Bank's Next President - Working Paper 123

June 11, 2007

In May 2007 CGD launched an online survey of the global development community on three issues: the selection process for the next World Bank president; criteria for rating the candidates; and actual ratings for nine candidates who had been named by the international media. Between May 22 and May 31, CGD received nearly 700 responses from people whose characteristics reflect the diversity of the international development community. Survey participants represent 71 nations; all world regions; high-, middle- and low-income countries; a variety of professional affiliations; and all adult age groups. About 30% of respondents are women.

Although the participants are diverse, their responses indicate striking unity on all three survey issues. First, both U.S. and non-U.S. participants reject the traditional selection prerogative of the U.S. by large margins, with equally strong support for an open, transparent, competitive selection process. Second, participants exhibit uniformity in the relative importance they ascribe to CGD’s five proposed criteria for selecting candidates. Most respondents assign the highest priorities to management effectiveness and international organization experience, followed in order by knowledge of development, banking/finance experience and political/diplomatic experience. Third, the participants exhibit uniformity in rating the nine suggested candidates for president. The survey suggests that despite their diversity, survey participants from the U.S., high-, medium- and low-income countries and the World Bank display striking uniformity in their preference for an open, competitive selection process, their weighting of selection criteria, and their assessment of potential candidates for president of the World Bank, including the U.S. nominee, Robert Zoellick.

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