World Bank President Jim Yong Kim resigns

In Summary

January 08,2019 – World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced his resignation three years to […]

January 08,2019 – World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced his resignation three years to the end of his six term.

In a January 7, letter to staff, Kim lists his achievements over the past six years but gives no hind about the reasons for his unexpected departure.


Below is Kim’s letter in full:

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to inform you that I have informed the Board today that I will be stepping down from my position as President of the World Bank Group.  

It has been a great honor to serve as President of this institution, and I want to thank all of you for your support to our mission of ending poverty in the world.  We can all take pride in knowing that we have accomplished much over the last six-and-a-half years, especially through the work of our outstanding staff. You have inspired me from my very first day. 

Indeed, the passion of the staff for the mission of fighting poverty led us in my first year at the Bank Group to establish two goals for the institution: to end extreme poverty by 2030; and to boost shared prosperity, focusing on the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries. These goals have guided all of our work and I believe that they are more relevant with each passing year.  

I am leaving with full confidence that the World Bank Group has once again established its strong leadership in the world of global development.  

Because of the strong support of our shareholders, we are now able to respond to the development needs of our clients at levels never seen outside of a financial crisis.  We achieved two successive, record replenishments of IDA, which has enabled us to increase our work in areas suffering from fragility, conflict, and violence. 

This past April, our governors approved a historic $13 billion capital increase for IBRD and IFC that will allow us to support countries in reaching their development goals while responding to crises such as climate change, pandemics, fragility, and underinvestment in human capital around the world. 

There is, of course, much left to do to meet the many pressing needs in developing countries, but I am confident that the World Bank Group will continue to move forward on all these fronts. 

As I have said many times over the past few years, I believe that the key to bridging the massive development finance gap is through working with partners in the private sector. I have therefore decided that it’s time for me to take on new challenges and fully focus my efforts on leveraging private finance for the benefit of people around the world.  I firmly believe that one of the greatest needs in the developing world is a new cadre of private sector groups committed to building infrastructure in developing countries.  To that end, immediately after my departure, I will join a firm where I will focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries.   The details of this new position will be announced shortly. 

The opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets.   

In addition to my work in infrastructure investment, I will re-join the board of Partners In Health (PIH), an organization I co-founded more than 30 years ago.  I look forward to working once again with my longtime friends and colleagues at PIH on a range of issues in global health and education.  I will also continue my engagement with Brown University as a trustee of the Corporation and look forward to serving as a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. 

I will be leaving the institution on February 1. I will work with our Board and senior management of World Bank Group to ensure a smooth transition.  Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, will assume the role of interim President effective February 1.   

The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity.  

On a final note, I want to express a special appreciation for the members of the senior management team. It is their steadfast commitment and dedication to the mission that makes everything that this remarkable institution is able to accomplish possible. 

Working with all of you as President and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all the tremendous challenges we face has been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined. 




Jim Yong Kim


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