Jim Yong Kim steps down as President of World Bank

Irving Hamilton
January 7, 2019

"Serving as President and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all these challenges has been a great privilege", Kim said.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced he will step down in February, more than three years ahead of his term expiring.

Kristalina Georgieva, the chief executive of the World Bank, will take over as interim president when he departs.

Dr Kim, the bank's 12th president, said on Monday that he will join a firm focusing on increasing infrastructure in developing countries, but the global lender provided no further details.

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Naming Kim's replacement could mark a sharp break with the past as the Trump administration has repeatedly broken with multilateral institutions and conventions of which Trump himself has been highly critical.

Nevertheless, when he was nominated for a first term in 2012, Kim was the first USA nominee to face a challenger when Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala entered the contest for the bank's presidency.

A South-Korean-born physician and anthropologist, raised in the United States, Kim has served as president of the World Bank since 2012. Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter and senior adviser, developed a woman's entrepreneurship initiative in partnership with the World Bank in 2017 with the goal of providing more than $1 billion in financing for small-business owners.

The World Bank said Kim had emphasized that infrastructure finance was one of the greatest needs in the developing world and had pushed the bank to work with a new cadre of private sector partners on "sustainable, climate-smart infrastructure".

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