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World Bank picks Jim Yong Kim as new president

(Xinhua)

07:59, April 17, 2012

Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim attends a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington in this file photo taken March 23, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - The World Bank announced Monday that Jim Yong Kim, the US candidate, has been selected as the Bank's new president.

Kim was favored over Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the other candidate who was supported by South Africa and other developing countries.

"The Executive Directors selected Dr. Jim Yong Kim as President for a five-year term beginning on July 1, 2012," the Washington-based global institution said in a statement.

Kim, a Korean-American public health expert and president of Dartmouth University, will succeed the outgoing Robert Zoellick, whose term expires at the end of June.

A third candidate, former Colombian Minister of Finance Jose Antonio Ocampo, pulled out of the race on Friday.

The Bank expressed deep appreciation to the three nominees, saying their candidacies enriched the discussion of the role of the chief and of the Bank's future direction.

"The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high caliber of the candidates," the statement noted.

Born in 1959 in Seoul, Kim moved with his family to the United States and is now a US national. He is a co-founder of Partners in Health and a former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization.

Kim's appointment maintains Washington's grip on the multinational institution tasked with combating global poverty since its founding after World War II. Europe, in turn, has held control of the top post at the Bank's sister organization, the International Monetary Fund.

Robert Zoellick, issued a statement congratulating Kim for his success and offering support in ensuing a successful handover for July 1.

"His rigorous, science-based drive for results will be invaluable for the World Bank Group as it modernizes to better serve client countries in overcoming poverty," Zoellick said.

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