World Bank Chief Robert Zoellick to Step Down

As reported by Ian Talley from the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration decided not to appoint World Bank President Robert Zoellick to a second five-year term as the bank chief Wednesday announced his June departure.

Mr. Zoellick, a U.S. citizen appointed by the White House under a Republican president, ran the Bretton Woods institution during one of the most volatile economic times in modern history.

Although technically, the bank’s global membership selects a new leader, Washington appoints its choice under the unwritten rules established since the U.S. helped to found the institution in the wake of the second World War.

The Obama administration hasn’t yet made public a decision on Mr. Zoellick’s successor, but Under Secretary Lael Brainard is heading the search committee. Ms. Brainard, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton are among the names mentioned in press reports as possible appointments.

During Mr. Zoellick’s tenure, the global political architecture has experienced a shift of unprecedented power toward emerging economies, a dynamic fueled by the 2008 financial crisis and Europe’s sovereign-debt woes. China, India and Brazil, for example, are now major drivers of global growth and have secured stronger political positions in the international arena, particularly through the creation of the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations.

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