Newman: Should the World Bank consider non-Americans for its next president?

By: /
March 19, 2012

Indeed it should.

Not only would a wider talent pool from which to choose its next President be helpful to the Bank, it would also set an important precedent.

Part of the agreement creating the Breton Woods Institutions was that the head of the Bank would always be American, and the head of the International Monetary Fund would be European.

But the world has changed a lot since that agreement was reached at the end of the Second World War. There are a lot of very able people from healthier economies than either the United States or Europe can presently boast who could lead either the Bank or the Fund.

Until 1996 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was always lead by a European. Canadian Donald Johnston broke that precedent. Now the OECD is lead by a Mexican.

It is time for that same kind of change now at the World Bank and the IMF.