American David Malpass named World Bank president

American David Malpass named World Bank president

David Malpass , a senior US Treasury official in President Donald Trump ’s administration , was unanimously chosen Friday as the next president of the World Bank .

The selection of Malpass by the bank ’s board of directors followed an “open , transparent ” nomination process in which citizens of all membership countries were potentially eligible , the bank said in a statement .

But since the bank ’s creation following World War II , all of its presidents have been American men , following an unwritten rule that also ensures European leadership at the top of its sister institution , the International Monetary Fund.

The announcement came as expected just prior to next week ’ s joint spring meetings of the World Bank and the IMF.

Malpass begins his five – year term on Tuesday , replacing former President Jim Yong Kim, whose surprise departure in February came not even halfway through his second term .

Malpass had been the lone candidate for the job and his nomination by Trump earlier this year sparked outrage among critics , who saw it as an affront to the global anti -poverty lender ’ s very mission .

The 63 -year – old US Treasury official in charge of international affairs has been a strident critic of global financial institutions — calling their lending practices “corrupt” and ineffective, and complaining they are overly generous to China .

He has softened his message recently , however , saying he is committed to the bank ’s mission of eliminating extreme poverty and that reforms enacted last year as part of a $ 13 billion capital increase addressed many of his criticisms .

In recent years , emerging market countries have challenged the unwritten arrangement on World Bank and IMF leadership , demanding a more open , merit – based selection process .

The bank has been at pains to stress that it has heard such criticisms and now allows a more open process . But the few non -American candidates in recent years have received little support from major bank shareholders .

Many , including former Treasury officials from both political parties, have sharply criticized Malpass and his qualifications .

They pointed to his failure to foresee the global financial crisis during his time at the now- defunct investment bank Bear Stearns and his opposition , which later proved unjustified , to post-crisis Federal Reserve policies .

Malpass previously also held a senior role in the US State Department for Latin American affairs .

“David will be an exceptional leader of the World Bank and I look forward to working with him in his new role ,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Twitter .

( AFP )

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