World Bank New Head

April 17, 2012 by staff 

World Bank New Head, Stephen Foley is Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. In a decade at the paper, he has covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and been the Business section’s share tipster. And since arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006, he has witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.

Surprise! The man who will become the next president of the World Bank is an American – to the increasing irritation of developing nations, it is always an American – but at least this time it is not a superannuated banker or politician. And at least he can rap.

The appointment of Jim Yong Kim, a South Korea-born, American-raised doctor turned academic was formally announced last night, though in truth the deal was sealed the moment US President Barack Obama nominated him to the post last month. Still, not everyone involved in the process was happy.

Dr Kim is currently president of Dartmouth College, the first Asian-American head of an Ivy League university, and will be the first president to come from the non-profit sector to run the Bank. Dr Kim, 52, established his professional reputation by founding a charity that pioneered intensive community healthcare projects in countries such as Haiti, and has advised the World Health Organisation on HIV and Aids.

His parents left Seoul when he was five and he grew up in in Iowa, where he showed a precocious academic talent. He has two Ivy League universities on his CV and returned to academia three years ago to run Dartmouth – which is where the rapping comes in.

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