Posted Friday, March 23, 2012, at 9:15 AM
I still wish the Obama administration had gone outside the box and tapped a non-American to lead the World Bank, but their actual selection Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim seems like a very strong dark horse candidate. As a former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization he has some of the necessary experience with international organizations, and his general expertise in the field of public health and infectious diseases is rightly focused on the area where development assistance has the clearest track record of success and potential for future gains.
What's more, though he's lived in the United States since the age of 5, he was actually born in South Korea so there's at least a little crack in the door of the American monopoly on the Bank Presidency. Given that the developing world's two candidates for the job at the moment are coming from Africa and Latin America, nominating an Asian-American also seems like a potentially clever nod in the direction of Asia's rising importance in the global economy while maintaining the basic EU/US hegemony over the Bretton-Woods institutions.