The Executive Directors of the World Bank met on March 31 to select a new president of the World Bank following Mr. James D. Wolfensohn’s ten years of service as president of the World Bank. The Board expressed its deep appreciation for his outstanding leadership of the World Bank Group and for his passion for poverty reduction, the Bank’s core mandate.
The Executive Directors unanimously selected Mr. Paul Wolfowitz, effective June 1, 2005, to succeed Mr. Wolfensohn as president of the World Bank, when the latter retires on May 31, 2005. As an international civil servant of a multilateral organization, the president of the World Bank is ex officio President of the International Development Association (IDA) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the Administrative Council of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
Prior to the selection of the president, executive directors had discussions with Mr. Wolfowitz on issues related to the bank‘s policies, programs and ongoing mission of poverty reduction. Issues discussed by executive directors included development strategy; the bank’s role and multilateral character; synergies within the bank group; the financial sustainability of IBRD and IDA; the focus on development results and governance issues, including the fight against corruption; and issues related to the bank’s organization and effectiveness, including the diversity of management and staff, and the process of selecting the President.
Mr. Wolfowitz, a United States national, currently serves as US Deputy Secretary of Defense. He was previously Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of The Johns Hopkins University. He held a number of significant posts within the U.S. government. In addition to US Deputy Secretary of Defense, he served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, US Ambassador to Indonesia, and as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Mr. Wolfowitz has also served as Head of the US State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs and in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, as well as in the US Bureau of the Budget. He taught previously at Yale (1970-73) and John Hopkins (1981). Mr. Wolfowitz has received numerous distinguished government service awards.
Mr. Wolfowitz has a doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago.
(China.org.cn April 1, 2005)