Jim Yong Kim to leave World Bank three years early

8 Jan 19

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim has resigned from his post three years before he was due to leave.

Kim will step down from 1 February after six years leading the Washington-based development bank.

In an official statement, released yesterday, Kim said he would be joining a private sector firm to focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries. Further details of this will be announced shortly, the World Bank said.

On Twitter, Kim said: “I will be stepping down as World Bank Group president on February 1. It’s been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined to lead the dedicated staff of this great institution to bring us closer to a world that is finally free of poverty.”

The World Bank president was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017. He was due to leave the post in 2022.


No reason was given for his unexpected resignation.

The World Bank’s chief executive officer Kristalina Georgieva will assume the role of interim president. The bank added that it would “immediately start the process” of finding a replacement.

In the past, the president of the bank has been nominated by the US, while the head of the IMF – it’s sister institution – has been picked by European countries. However, when Kim was appointed in 2012 there was growing pressure from countries in the global south for a candidate from an emerging market country to be appointed.

Kim, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, is a trained medical doctor and was nominated by then US president Barack Obama for both his first and second term as the head of the bank.

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