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Next World Bank President: Two Non-U.S. Candidates for the Short List

This post is joint with Arvind Subramanian

The next World Bank president will need the legitimacy and wide support that only an open and merit-based selection process can ensure. This is now commonly agreed. The best way to ensure legitimacy is to have more than one serious candidate. The Obama administration is sure to nominate a strong candidate. Obama cannot be seen to be relinquishing the right of the United States to name an American, especially in this election year. But the U.S. has signaled its willingness to participate in an open and competitive and process. And the Bank’s board has called for nominations from all member states, which the board says it will then narrow to a short list of three.

IMF Leadership Struggle and CGD Survey Results: Nancy Birdsall

The sudden resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn has sparked a global debate over the selection of the next head of the International Monetary Fund. French finance minister Christine Legarde, Europe’s nominee, has launched a round-the-world tour to promote her candidacy. Meanwhile, Agustin Carstins, the governor of the Bank of Mexico and the lone challenger so far to Europe’s renewed claim to lead the IMF, is seeking backing from European debtor nations and others by calling for greater flexibility in IMF bailout programs.

Against this background, CGD is pushing ahead with a survey on the selection process, qualifications and candidates for the IMF top job. I asked CGD president Nancy Birdsall, who has been arguing for a more open, merit-based selection process without regard for nationality, to join me on the show to share her views on the IMF leadership selection battle and the initial results from our survey.

The United States Can Give Better Aid to Haiti

This commentary also appeared on The Huffington Post and Global Post

Last week at a United Nations conference, donors pledged more than $10 billion to finance reconstruction and development investments in Haiti. The United States promised a hefty $1.15 billion.

But pledging money is the easy part. The United States, the lead donor and friend with the greatest interest in Haiti's future development, can do much more, in two ways: its own aid programs can be more effective; and it can take steps beyond aid that are far more critical to long-run prosperity for Haiti's people.

Will There Ever Be Any Serious Reform of World Bank Governance?

At our recent event with former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, who chaired the High Level Commission on Modernization of World Bank Group Governance on World Bank governance reform (report is here), panelists Moises Naim and Arvind Subramanian worried that there is no reason to expect the powers-that-be to take up any of the recommendations for reform.

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