, WASHINGTON, Mar 8 – The United States is eyeing a short list of three candidates to lead the World Bank when its president Robert Zoellick steps down in June, according to a person close to the Bank.
President Barack Obama’s administration in considering US Senator John Kerry, United Nations ambassador Susan Rice and economist Lawrence Summers to helm the 187-nation institution, the source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told AFP late on Wednesday.
The World Bank set a March 23 deadline to accept nominations. The development lender plans to choose a successor to Zoellick by April 20, the start of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings in Washington.
In an unwritten pact dating back to the creation of the World Bank and the IMF nearly seven decades ago, the United States has always put an American in the Bank’s top job and Europe has selected a European as IMF managing director.
The clamour for a candidate from the developing world has grown louder in recent weeks. China and Brazil have called for a fair, competitive selection process, but neither has put forth an alternative candidate.
Zoellick, a high-profile former US diplomat, announced on February 15 he would be stepping down when his five-year term ends on June 30.
The same day the US Treasury said the US nomination would come within weeks.
Kerry was the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004 defeated by incumbent president George W. Bush, and currently serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Rice previously served as a senior national security adviser to Obama during his successful 2008 White House campaign, and was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington think tank, for several years.
Summers was Obama’s first director of the National Economic Council and served as Treasury secretary under then-president Bill Clinton from 1999 to 2001. He is currently a Harvard University economics professor.
Because of a controversy when he was World Bank chief economist in the 1990s, “Summers would be perceived as an affront for the Africans,” a person close to the World Bank told AFP recently.