|The World Bank has confirmed that three candidates are in contention for the presidency [Reuters]|
US President Barack Obama has nominated Korean-American Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank – a job that emerging economies are contesting for the first time.
While Washington retains the largest single voting share and can expect the support of European nations and Japan, the bank’s second-largest voting member, some developing countries have also put through their nominations.
Angola, Nigeria and South Africa threw their support behind Nigerian economist and finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, while Brazil put forward a nomination of Jose Antonio Ocampo, who previously served as head of Colombia’s national bank.
The World Bank board of member countries has promised to make a decision by the time of the IMF and World Bank semi-annual meetings on April 21. The current head of the global lender, Robert Zoellick, is due to step down in June.
|Jim Yong Kim, 52|
President of Dartmouth College, a US Ivy League university.
Born in South Korea, he grew up in rural Iowa in the US. Kim studied medicine and anthropology at Harvard and taught medicine in several universities.
Between 2003 and 2007, he led a World Health Organisation initiative to bring antiretroviral drugs to HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries.
He co-founded a non-profit organisation, Partners in Health, which works with impoverished communities from Haiti to Russia.
His nomination is backed by the US, which traditionally appoints the head of the global development lender, and has drawn support from South Korea and France.
|Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 57|
An economist and the Nigerian finance minister who has spent more than two decades in numerous positions at the World Bank.
Okonjo-Iweala was born in southern Nigeria and studied economics at Harvard. She earned a doctorate in regional economics and development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In her most recent position at the Bank, she was managing director under current Word Bank chairman Robert Zoellick.
She was subsequently appointed by the new Nigerian government to oversee financial reforms.
Her nomination is supported by African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa and Angola.
|Jose Antonio Ocampo, 59|
Currently a professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York.
Ocampo is a US-trained economist and has served in the Colombian government as well as the UN.
He held the ministerial posts of agriculture minister and planning. He was also the chairman of Colombia’s Central Bank.
He was the executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean for six years.
From 2003-2007, he was UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs.
Ocampo was nominated for the role by Brazil.