Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Dartmouth president named as surprise choice to lead World Bank

By Greg Goodsell
March 23rd, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

United States President Barack Obama has named the president of Dartmouth College, Jim Yong Kim as its nominee to lead the World Bank. Kim has now become the frontrunner to lead the multinational institution when current president, Robert B Zoellick steps down on June 30 after serving his five-year term. Kim's nomination is something of a surprise, as his name was not bandied widely about prior to the decision.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Kim is highly respected among his medical peers. Both an anthropologist and a physician, Kim co-founded Partners in Health, a nonprofit that provides health care for the poor. He is also the former director of the department of H.I.V./AIDS at the World Health Organization.

"The leader of the World Bank should have a deep understanding of both the role that development plays in the world and the importance of creating conditions where assistance is no longer needed," President Obama says. "It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency."
 
Traditionally, Washington selects the head of the World Bank and Europe the leader of its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, since they were founded during World War II.

"Development is his lifetime commitment, and it is his passion. And in a world with so much potential to improve living standards, we have a unique opportunity to harness that passion and experience at the helm of the World Bank," Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, also an alumnus of Dartmouth, said of Dr. Kim.

Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1959, Kim moved with his family to the United States when he was five years old. Kim graduated from Brown University in 1982, earned an M.D. from Harvard University in 1991 and received a Ph.D. in anthropology there in 1993.

Kim was the first Asian-American to head an Ivy League institution when he took the Dartmouth post in 2009.

Kim helped to develop a treatment program for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis while working with Partners in Health in Lima, Peru in the 1990s. The program was the first large-scale treatment of that disease in a developing country. Similar programs for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are now in place in more than 40 nations. Kim also led the successful effort to reduce the price of the drugs used to treat this form of tuberculosis.

"Jim is all about delivery and about delivering on promises often made but too seldom kept," Paul Farmer, a co-founder of Partners in Health, said in an e-mailed statement. "I can think of no one more able to help families, communities and entire nations break out of poverty."

During his short tenure at Dartmouth, Dr. Kim won a reputation as a level-headed technocrat who frequently encouraged students to think globally.

"Most every college president has to get up and say it's important to go off and change the world," Jonathan S. Skinner, an economist at Dartmouth says. "But there aren't many college presidents who've gone out and have changed the world."

Kim's ascension to the head of the World Bank is not a sure thing. The United States supported the candidacy of Christine Lagarde, the former French finance minister, to head the International Monetary Fund last year, presumably assuring that Europe would support Dr. Kim's nomination.

.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)