Jim Yong Kim, the co-founder of global development organization Partners in Health who went on to lead Dartmouth College, was selected Monday as the next president of the World Bank, according to Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times.
The choice of Mr. Kim, the first physician and the first Asian-American to head the global lender, extends the bank’s seven-decade practice of installing Americans at the top but bucks its history of drawing its leaders from the worlds of finance and government. He begins his five-year term on June 30.
The bank committed $57-billion last year to antipoverty, infrastructure, and economic-development projects around the world. Mr. Kim’s nomination engendered some criticism from economists, who noted his lack of financial experience, and developing nations, many of which backed Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the post.
Eswar Prasad, a former International Monetary Fund official now with the Brookings Institution, said the appointment reflects how global institutions “lag behind changing economic realities” but that Mr. Kim’s expertise in health and development will help “initiate a much-needed reorientation of the World Bank’s role.”