World Bank invites applicants for top job despite American grip

In Summary

January 14, 2018—The World Bank has formally invited applications for the position of President in the […]

Ivanka Trump’s name is making the rounds for a position usually taken up by an American.

January 14, 2018—The World Bank has formally invited applications for the position of President in the wake of the exit of Jim Yong Kim who steps down at the end of this month.

Nominations are open from February 7 and close on March 15, but odds are another American, notably Ivanka Trump, will take over the multilateral financial institution.

Traditionally, the job is designated for an American citizen just as the position of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) usually goes to a European.

At one point the United States contributed 25 pc of the World Bank budget and hence its clout. However in recent years, US funding has been declining to half of that figure and showing no signs of a reversal especially in light of what President Donald Trump thinks about multilateralism.

President Trump’s aggressive stance against anything multilateral and globalisation, means the appointment of the next World Bank President is attracting more attention than ever before. The name of Ivanka Trump, the US president’s daughter, is already making the rounds and causing much cringing. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, is also being mentioned, but with much less anguish on account of her wider experience in public service.

However while inviting applicants last week, the Board of Executives Directors sitting in Washington D.C, announced a commitment to an open, merit-based and transparent selection process.

Since its inception just after the Second World War, the World Bank presidency has been taken up by Americans or naturalized citizens usually with the recommendation of the sitting US President.  Between 1946 and today, they have been 12 Americans in the position but Board has no qualms with adding, ‘Candidates must be nationals of the Bank’s member countries’.

The Board is looking for candidates with a proven track record of leadership; experience of managing large organizations with international exposure and a familiarity with the public sector. The ability to articulate a clear vision of the World Bank Group’s development mission is also essential as well as a firm commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation. Candidates should also have effective and diplomatic communication skills, impartiality and objectivity in the performance of the responsibilities of the position.

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