World Bank president Robert Zoellick has announced he will step down at the end of his term in June. In this post written shortly before the announcement, Nancy Birdsall offers advice to the White House on about how to proceed.
The insider talk on the next World Bank president is heating up, with rumors that Robert Zoellick will formally initiate the process in the United States system shortly by indicating to the White House that he will step down at the end of his term in June.
Then begins the collision in the White House between its promises to the global community and political realities at home. The collision boils down to the question of whether or not the White House will try to ensure that the longstanding U.S. privilege of picking World Bank presidents prevails once more—arguing that the Europeans after all got their way on another European at the IMF last summer. (For more on this issue, go to the updated CGD Initiative page on the Future of the World Bank here or a Bretton Woods Project site on the World Bank president here).