The United States on Friday nominated the
Korean-born president of Dartmouth College Jim Yong Kim to lead the
US President Barack Obama announced the nomination in the White House Rose Garden just hours before the deadline to submit nominees for the World Bank position.
Standing alongside Kim, Obama said his "personal story exemplies great diversity of our country" and pointed to his efforts to fight HIV/AIDS as co-founder of organization Partners in Health and at the World Health Organization.
"Jim has spent more than two decades working to improve conditions in developing countries around the world," Obama said. "The World Bank is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce poverty and raise standards of living around the globe, and Jim's personal experience and years of service make him an ideal candidate for this job."
He also served as the chairman of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and in other medical positions before taking the helm of the prestigious Ivy League university in New Hampshire in 2009.
Ever since the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were set up in the 1944 Bretton Woods agreements, a European has always headed the crisis lending International Monetary Fund, while its sister agency has been led exclusively by Americans.
But developing nations have pushed in recent years for a greater say in the World Bank and have hoped one of their own could be tapped to lead the organization.
Colombian former finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo and South African-backed Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are also expected to contest the leadership position.
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