WORLD

Kim Yong Kim to lead World Bank

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Jim Yong Kim, an American who is president of Dartmouth College, has been chosen to be the next president of the World Bank.

His selection Monday extends the U.S. hold on the top job at the 187-nation development agency.

Kim, a surprise nominee of President Barack Obama, was selected Monday in a vote by the World Bank's 25-member executive board.

He'll succeed Robert Zoellick, who's stepping down after a five-year term. Developing nations waged an unsuccessful challenge to Kim, 52, a physician and pioneer in treating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in the developing world.

Kim's selection marks a break from previous World Bank leaders who were typically political, legal or economic figures.

The World Bank raises money from its member nations and borrows from investors to provide low-cost loans to developing countries.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner praised the selection, saying Kim "has a lifetime of experience solving complex problems."

He said Kim "will help breathe new life into the World Bank's efforts" to promote economic growth around the world. Developing countries had put forward two candidates for the post - Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo.

Both had argued that it was time to break the hold the United States has had on the World Bank job and provide a greater voice for developing nations. Kim will begin a five-year term in July.

Born in South Korea, Kim is an American who moved to the United States with his family at age 5.

His selection extends the tradition of Americans leading the World Bank dating to the institution's founding in 1944. Kim was in Lima, Peru, on Monday - the latest stop in a global tour that has taken him to Africa, Asia and Latin America to try to build support among developing countries.

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