On Friday, March 23, President Obama nominated Jim Yong Kim, a global health expert and president of Dartmouth College, to be the next president of the World Bank. The following is a summary of several opinion pieces, blog posts, and an editorial published in response to his nomination.
- Charles Kenny, Foreign Policy's "The Optimist": Though "Jim Yong Kim may not be the best nominee" because of some questions regarding his experience, the "nomination could still be a hopeful sign," Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, writes in his column for ForeignPolicy.com. "It would be great news if the White House's choice of candidate signals that the World Bank Group will move further in the direction of innovating, discovering, and cataloging what works in development, as well as protecting the global commons from the climate to cod stocks -- alongside its more traditional role in financing investment in the world's poorest countries," he concludes (3/26).
- Sarah Boseley, Guardian's "Sarah Boseley's Global Health Blog": Kim "may be something of an unknown quantity to many who heard the announcement, but I'm guessing that most people who have had anything to do with global health and particularly HIV and [tuberculosis (TB)] over the past decade will be celebrating," Boseley writes in her blog, adding, "I, for one, am glad he is willing to leave the pleasant lawns of academe to plunge back into the complex and messy world of the U.N. They call him a technocrat, but technocrats get things done. The much criticized World Bank could become a lot more interesting" (3/26).
- Laurie Garrett, "The Garrett Update": Noting that Kim has competition from "two other very strong contenders" -- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's minister of finance and former managing director of the World Bank, and Jose Antonio Ocampo, Colombia's former finance minister -- Garrett writes in her blog that "Jim Kim is not a shoe-in" for World Bank president. "Though Kim's nomination has received rave reviews, he will have to travel the world, campaigning for election. And he could be the first American nominee defeated in election for President of the World Bank since 1944. Or another way of looking at it is either Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala or Jose Antonio Ocampo could be the first President of the World Bank nominated and promoted by a nation that has been a major recipient of the Bank's financial support," she concludes (3/23).
Wall Street Journal: "Jim Yong Kim's surprise nomination for World Bank president is bad for both the bank and Dartmouth College. The latter will lose an excellent leader and as for the former, well, Dr. Kim is better than an institution that ought to be wound down really deserves," this Wall Street Journal editorial states. President Obama "didn't indulge [the] impulse" to support a candidate from an emerging market for the position, "but if the globalists ever do get their way it'd be better to withdraw all U.S. support and make Jim Kim the last World Bank president," the editorial concludes (3/25).
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