WORLD

Kim Yong Kim to lead World Bank

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He and the other candidates were interviewed by the World Bank's board last week.

In his statement to the board, Kim said he had worked throughout his career for "reform and change" and would continue those efforts at the World Bank.

Obama's announcement March 23 that Kim would be the U.S. nominee for the World Bank post came as a surprise. His name had not been mentioned as a possible candidate.

Since 2009, Kim has been president of Dartmouth College. Those more often mentioned included Larry Summers, who had led the White House economic council earlier in the Obama administration, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But Kim's nomination had won widespread praise because of his extensive experience in working to improve health in the poorest countries. In the 1990s, Kim defied skeptics to find a cost-effective way to fight tuberculosis in the slums of South America.

He also began a program that has treated millions of Africans for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Eswar Prasad, an economist at Cornell University and a former top official at the International Monetary Fund, said Kim's medical background gave him vital experience in solving problems facing developing nations.

"He will need to dispel any notion that he is there to serve the interests of the U.S. rather than the interests of developing countries," Prasad said.

The World Bank focuses on fighting poverty and promoting development. In recent decades, it's focused on poor nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is a leading source of development loans for financing to build dams, road and other projects.

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