Friday, March 23, 2012
President Obama made a surprise nomination of Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head up the World Bank. It is a position typically held by bankers, economists or politicians, and few would have predicted the selection of a medical doctor with a background in fighting disease in Africa to the post. Kim is an energetic figure who has been on the front lines combatting AIDS in Africa and tuberculosis in South America. As a matter of tradition, the World Bank's leadership has always been held by Americans, a framework that has drawn frustration from nations of the developing world. The World Bank's mission is to bring people out of poverty and, as a foreign-born U.S. citizen with a great deal of experience working with impoverished people and nations, Kim may be uniquely suited to the role and may help assuage some international concerns. Plus, he appears in a Dartmouth talent show video wearing new wave glasses, dancing the robot and rapping, which is pretty awesome. While not a conventional choice for the post, the President may have come to the conclusion that bankers and finance people run pretty much everything else anyway, so why not give someone else a crack at this.