President Obama’s surprise nomination for the presidency of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, is expected to come out the winner among other nominees for the post, despite the fact that for the first time emerging nations have put up their own candidates with a real eye toward victory.
Kim, president of Dartmouth, is also a physician and the former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization. He is a much less political choice than had been expected. Still, Reuters reported Monday that Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria, another nominee for the top spot, called for emerging economies to be given a fair shot at the job.
While Kim’s name was an unexpected choice, his credentials, according to Paul Farmer, offer a change in direction for the bank. Farmer, chairman of the Department of Global Health at Harvard University, was a co-founder with Kim of the nonprofit Partners in Health, a group that assists the poorest countries. He told Reuters Kim had a real understanding of poverty and a sense of purpose.