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The Race for World Bank President Takes Shape with Two More Candidates

March 22, 2012 ·

A Colombian and a Nigerian vie to be chief of a World Bank that's like a colonial outfit: a workforce from the developing world with an American president.

The World Bank presidency fight is getting really interesting.  There may be two developing country candidates in addition to Jeffrey Sachs and the U.S. candidate.  Jose Antonio Ocampo (from Colombia and also now at Columbia University) has a lot going for him. IPSer Sarah Anderson has worked with him on capital controls and trade agreements and he is terrific on that issue.  Looks like he'll become the Latin America candidate, with Brazil in the lead.  

The other possible candidate is Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; she is more traditional and a lot less interesting.  The U.S. has until tomorrow to name their candidate.  Rob Weissman and others have done a great job at knocking down Larry Summers possible candidacy. Here is our latest on the Sachs' candidacy in the Nation. Thanks to several of you for participating in this debate.

Yesterday morning, I was leafletting outside the World Bank because a Canadian mining firm has brought a case against El Salvador in the Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.  A number of us have been leafletting to tell the Bank not to interfere with El Salvador's decision to stop issuing gold mining permits. 

As I was leafletting World Bank employees, I used my growing "friendship" with some of the them to ask who they want to be their next World Bank president.  I spoke with 7-8 in more depth.  Every single one told me that they don't want an American.  (And, I realized as I spoke to them that I haven't met one American who works there.  This really is a colonial outfit: a largely developing world workforce and an American president.)  The don't like Zoellick and no one I spoke to wants Sachs.


John Cavanagh
IPS Director

Fellow
Global Economy