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Profile: World Bank president candidates


13:30, March 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank announced here on Friday that Jim Yong Kim from the United States, Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Colombia's Jose Antonio Ocampo are the three candidates for the bank presidency.

This is the first time in the bank's history that two contenders will compete with a U.S. nominee to replace outgoing Robert Zoellick, whose term expires at the end of June.


U.S.-nominated Kim, a Korean-American physician, is currently the president of Dartmouth college.

Kim, known for prominent work in global health and social medicine, began his tenure as the 17th president of Dartmouth College in 2009. He is the first Asian American to assume the top job at an Ivy League institution.

Born in 1959 in Seoul, capital of South Korea, Kim moved with his family to the United States at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa.

Kim graduated from Brown University in 1982, and earned at Harvard University a medical doctorate in 1991 and a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1993.

From 1993 to 2000, Kim worked as a lecturer and then an instructor in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine of Harvard Medical School.

Along with Paul Farmer and others, Kim co-founded Partners in Health, a non-profit organization that supports a range of health programs in poor countries.

From 2004 to 2005, Kim served as director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization (WHO), where he led the "3 by 5" initiative, which sought to treat 3 million new HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries with anti-retroviral drugs.

Kim was elected in 2004 into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences -- one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine in the United States -- for his professional achievements and commitment to service.

In 2006, he was selected as one of the Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."

Before assuming the Dartmouth presidency, Kim held professorship in medicine and social medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Kim is married and has two children.


Okonjo-Iweala, endorsed by three African countries -- South Africa, Angola and her native country, serves as the Nigerian finance minister.

Prior to the government post, she worked in the World Bank from 2007 to 2011, under Zoellick. She had held a number of positions, including country director in the East Asia region, director of operations in the Middle East, and vice president of the Bank.

Born in 1954, Okonjo-Iweala was finance minister and later foreign minister of Nigeria from 2003 to 2006.

She studied economics at Harvard University and earned a Ph.D. in regional economics and development in Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She is married and a mother of four children.


Brazil-nominated Ocampo, born in 1952 in Colombia's Cali, is now a professor at Columbia University in New York.

He studied economics and sociology at the U.S. University of Notre Dame and graduated in 1972. He earned a doctorate in economics at the University of Yale in 1976.

From 2003 to 2007, Ocampo worked as the United Nations' under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs.

He was executive secretary of the United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean from 1998 to 2003.

Ocampo once held several government positions in his country, including finance minister and agriculture minister.


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