The United States has picked a public health expert of South Korean origin as its candidate for the World Bank presidency, a job emerging market economies are contesting for the first time.
President Barack Obama will nominate Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization, a senior administration official said on Friday. The White House would make an announcement at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).
Angola, Nigeria and South Africa have endorsed the nomination of Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a respected economist and diplomat, as a candidate to take over the bank when Robert Zoellick steps down in June.
“The endorsement is in line with the belief that the appointment of the leadership of the World Bank and its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, should be merit-based, open and transparent,” the three said in a statement.
It was a rare example of unity among countries often at loggerheads as they strive for dominance on the continent.
The United States has held the presidency since the bank’s inception after World War Two, and a European has always headed the IMF.
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