CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of PepsiCo's CEO. She is Indra Nooyi.
In a surprise move, President Obama said on Friday that he was nominating Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to serve as World Bank president. Kim's name was not among those reportedly on the president’s short list, which included Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was in the Rose Garden for the announcement.
Kim has more than 20 years of development experience, Obama said. He cofounded Partners In Health, a public-health nonprofit focused on the developing world; he has led a World Health Organization campaign to fight HIV-AIDS; and he has been a professor at Harvard University. Obama also noted that Kim's family moved to the United States from Korea when Kim was a small child.
"His personal story exemplifies the great diversity of our country," the president said of Kim. "His experience makes him ideally suited to forge partnerships all around the world."
Obama waited until the morning of Friday's 6 p.m. deadline to make his nomination. But even though that left room for developing nations to propose candidates, the United States, which has headed the World Bank since its inception, is still almost certain to clinch the top position. It has the largest voting share and the backing of Japan, which has the second-largest voting share, and European nations, Reuters reports.
Obama's selection of Kim will finally put to rest rumors in the capital that Clinton either wanted or was in line for the job. Current World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced he would step down in February, and other high-profile candidates, including former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Berkeley professor Laura Tyson, also were reportedly under consideration for the post.
Obama made his announcement in the Rose Garden, where he was flanked by Kim, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Clinton.
The choice is expected to be finalized at the World Bank’s meeting on April 21, according to Reuters.
Catherine Hollander and Andrew Joseph contributed