A group of House Democrats are calling on President Obama to push Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, an economist and global poverty expert to serve as the next president of the World Bank.
The coalition, led by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) argued that the global economic leadership position "has often been headed by [a] career politician or a Wall Street Banker," and that it was time to name a man who has spent much of his career focused on global poverty. So far, the letter has garnered the signatures of 20 Democrats.
John Conyers, Jr.
Sachs, currently the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, is publicly campaigning for the position.
“There have been 11 presidents of the World Bank, and not one of them yet has been an expert in international development,” Sachs told The Washington Post. “The world would be better off and America’s interests in a peaceful world would be better served by an expert in development at the bank.”
Obama is expected to play a leading role in filling the top spot at the World Bank, which will become open in June. Current President Robert Zoellick has informed the institution he does not plan to extend his time there beyond his five-year tenure.
While the World Bank's leader is technically chosen by its board, longtime convention has the United States effectively naming its head as the group's largest contributor. That power comes as part of a long-standing agreement under which the head of the International Monetary Fund comes from Europe.
No one has been publicly named by the White House as a candidate for the spot, but reports indicated that former Treasury secretary and Obama adviser Lawrence Summers and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice are being considered. And Obama may be open to a nontraditional pick, as Bloomberg has reported the White House included Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in initial discussions.
Following Zoellick's announcement in February, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the White House would be naming its preferred candidate in the "coming weeks."
Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©