From the article:
World Bank President Jim Kim’s surprise announcement that he is stepping down on Feb. 1 — more than three years before the end of his second term — has ignited a frenzied race to replace him. Names and scenarios, including one that could transform the campaign, are beginning to emerge.
Scott Morris, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, agreed that whether America maintains its grip on the World Bank presidency will largely depend on who the Trump administration chooses to nominate, but he added that the bar for a successful American candidate might be lower than bank staffers would like.
If the White House puts forward a candidate most European leaders can support — or even just accept — it is unlikely other major shareholders would go to battle with the administration over the bank, or that enough smaller shareholders would coalesce around a challenger, Morris said.
“There is a credibility test that the Trump people will have to meet with their nominee. Frankly, maybe it is a lower threshold than one might have hoped,” he said.
“Imagine a U.S. nominee who actively goes out to the capitals of the world and says, ‘look, my agenda for the bank is to get them out of this climate finance business in line with Trump administration views. I also think the IBRD [International Bank for Reconstruction and Development] doesn’t have a very compelling mission anymore. I don’t think the bank needs to be financing all these middle-income countries.’ It strikes me that that’s a pretty losing campaign platform for a lot of the countries that will ultimately build a majority,” CGD’s Morris said.
In that “extreme case,” it would be “relatively easy for countries to start a process of rallying behind an opposing candidate,” he added. The challenge for the Trump administration is to “recognize that this is not a cabinet pick. It’s not a U.S. government position. It’s about nominating someone to serve as the head of a multilateral institution, and that ought to give that individual some more degrees of freedom around their own agenda,” Morris said.
“It’s going to take a lot to get the Europeans upset. I think they will be actually really desperate to see the Trump administration put forward a candidate that meets some level of credibility,” Morris said.