Skepticism Still Surrounds JYK’s World Bank Nomination

Two men. One leadership style.It appears that President Kim’s reputation precedes him…even to the farthest corners of the world. Even as our esteemed leader travels around the world, seeking to garner nominations and endorsements to solidify his status as the heir-apparent to the World Bank, the opposition movement has been swelling. The Economist and the Financial Times have both endorsed Jim Kim’s Nigerian challenger, former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. But why is this such a stunning break from tradition?

For over 65 years, the World Bank has been an American controlled institution. After Bretton Woods, Europe got the IMF and we got the World Bank. Now, it looks like that might finally end. But why?

To put it simply, Jim Kim’s nomination smacked of arrogance. President Obama nominated a doctor and an anthropologist. Not a banker. As a result, 39 former managers of the World Bank have signed a letter endorsing Okonjo-Iweala as someone with “deep experience in international and national issues of economic management.”

Others, however, have hailed Jim Kim’s lack of experience as a positive. Thomas Bollyky, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times defending Obama’s choice as an “inspired nomination of an unconventional candidate.” Bollyky believes that Jim Kim can bring change to a somewhat irrelevant institution, going so far as to tout his budget cuts at Dartmouth as demonstrative of his “managerial resolve.”

Personally, I’m not convinced. Jim Kim came into Dartmouth with no experience leading a college. What was the result? A dining plan that students hate and that will only get worse in the future. A series of initiatives that have had little to no impact on daily student life. A new pet program in the form of Health Care Delivery Science. And an alienated student body tired of an autocratic and largely absent President. Given America’s recent experiences with inexperienced candidates who promise nebulous change, shouldn’t we be a little more cautious this time around?

Still looking for that change…

After all, fool me once, shame on you…

 

–J.P. Harrington.