WASHINGTON — The World Bank said Wednesday that its current president, Jim Yong Kim, is the only person who has been nominated for the presidency of the 189-nation lending institution.
The bank’s executive board said that nominations have now closed. It said Kim will be interviewed by the board, with the expectation that a decision will be made before the Washington-based bank’s annual meeting on Oct. 7-9.
The Obama administration put Kim’s name into nomination last month. He is widely expected to win a new term given the absence of rival candidates.
Kim was the president of Dartmouth College when he was first picked for the World Bank job in 2012. Since the creation of the World Bank after World War II, the top job has always gone to an American.
The International Monetary Fund has always been headed by a European. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, a former French finance minister, was reappointed in February.
Kim has won praise for his efforts to use World Bank resources to address the Ebola crisis in Africa and the on-going refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. But he has also been criticized for what some current and former employees at the World Bank have viewed as an unnecessarily disruptive overhaul of the bank’s operations.
In announcing last month that the United States, the bank’s largest shareholder, would put Kim’s name in nomination for a second term, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew praised Kim’s efforts to deal with “today’s most pressing global challenges in innovative ways, from ending extreme poverty and tackling inequality to combating climate change.”
Kim became the 12th president of the World Bank in July 2012. His current five-year term does not end until June 30. By nominating Kim for a second term this far in advance, the administration will be able to get a decision from the board before a new U.S. president takes office next January.
The last World Bank president to serve two terms was James Wolfensohn, who was nominated for a second term by then-President Bill Clinton.
In addition to serving as president of Dartmouth, Kim was the co-founder of Partners in Health and the former director of HIV/AIDS programs at the World Health Organization. A medical doctor and anthropologist, Kim has been involved in dealing with health issues in poor countries for more than two decades.