Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim to resign, unexpectedly

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim to resign, unexpectedly

Global reported Monday that Jim Yong Kim, the newly-resigned World Bank president, leaving the worldwide organization three years ahead of his planned retirement may allow for the U.S. to fill his spot due to the country's traditional role in picking its leader.

Trump has repeatedly voiced disdain for multilateral institutions and questioned United States foreign aid commitments, making it likely his authority to name a new president will be challenged by emerging economies that have in recent decades grown increasingly opposed to USA dominance over the global development bank.

Speaking on his resignation, Kim in a statement said: "It has been a great honor to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime".

Kim, 59, who is dropping out 19 months into his second term on February 1, would be joining a private company and focus on infrastructure investments in developing countries, the Bank said.

Under Kim's leadership, the bank set the goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and ramped up financing.

The bank's second in command, Kristalina Georgieva, will take over Kim's role, serving as interim president. He said details of his new position would be made public later.

The World Bank has a remit to support global development projects.

Kim cultivated close relations with Trump's daughter Ivanka, who works as a White House adviser.

The head of the World Bank has traditionally been an American, while the managing director of the International Monetary Fund is typically European.

Already the USA nominee was challenged for the first time in 2012 by two contenders.

Internal staff surveys showed the rank and file frequently did not trust senior management and said they did not understand the direction in which the institution was headed.

The Trump administration has put pressure on the World Bank to justify its lending practices, including loans to China.

Trump's role will resurrect and strengthen challenges to the post-World War II model of the leadership of the 189-member bank that has always been determined by the US.

A spokeswoman for the US Treasury, which oversees the US voting interest in the World Bank, said that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "looks forward to working with his fellow governors in selecting a new leader".

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