Is Dr. Jim Yong Kim right for the job?


He's a practicing physician, a medical anthropologist and a visionary on world health issues. But he's No Economist. Which is precisely why critics don't want Jim Yong Kim running the World Bank. Is it also precisely why supporters do want Jim Yong Kim running the World Bank. Today, a lesson in how the very things that can work in your favour are the very things than can work against you.

Part Two of The Current

Is Dr. Jim Yong Kim right for the job?

You'd think anyone applying for the position of President of the World Bank would have at least one degree in economics. But for the first time ever, the new head of the international financial body isn't an expert in finance. Dr. Jim Yong Kim is a global health expert and President of Dartmouth College. The man who nominated Dr. Kim, U.S. President Barack Obama thinks there's no better candidate.

The U.S. pick for President of the World Bank was confirmed on Monday. But this year, the nomination was contested by strong candidates from Nigeria and Colombia - and many hoped for the first time, the leader of the World Bank would come from the developing world. It wouldn't be the first time the Bank has done poorly by the developing world.

Economist Raj Patel worked at the World Bank and recalls how even with the best intentions, it can still clobber its clients. With that kind of criticism, there's been pressure on the Bank to change.

Dr. Kim was born in South Korea but moved to the US when he was five. He's been the director of the World Health Organization's department of HIV/AIDs, but has no experience in banking, policy making, economics or development. All attributes our next guest believes are crucial to head up the World Bank.

Bessma Momani is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Bessa Momani joined us from Waterloo. And Anjali Sastry is Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Anjali Sastry was in Boston.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kathleen Goldhar and Josh Bloch.

Related Links:

Dr Kim Wins Top Job At The World Bank By: Nicole Kekeh - Forbes

Canada abandons its principles in automatic backing for U.S. World Bank candidate By: Bessma Momani and Xenia Menzies - The Toronto Star

Jim Yong Kim: Continuing to accomplish the impossible By: Anjali Sastry and Rebecca Weintraub - Global Health MIT

College President Is Obama's Pick for World Bank Chief By: Annie Lowrey - New York Times

Other segments from today's show:

Unwanted Acquitted Rwandans

Sponsoring for the London 2012 Olympics

Comments are closed.