World Bank head steps down

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank, will leave his post in June at the end of his five-year term, he announced Wednesday 15 February. He is generally credited with leading the bank through a period of reform, including greater transparency, and for a number of initiatives during a time when the global economic crisis had a major impact on the World Bank’s work.

The bank, in its press release, says that among his achievement was “The first general capital increase for the Bank in over 20 years, with over half the new capital from developing countries; and a record $90 billion raised for IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, against a very challenging backdrop of donor austerity.”

The bank’s president is traditionally an American, selected by the US government, although technically appointed by the member countries. The process was approved and “regularized” in April 2011. The US played a key role in founding the bank.

Links to other sites: Financial Times (registration), Washington Post, Wall St Journal, World Bank press release