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Obama Nominates Korean-American Health Expert To Head World Bank

  • RFE/RL

U.S. President Barack Obama (right) introduces Jim Yong Kim as his nominee to be the next president of the World Bank.

U.S. President Barack Obama (right) introduces Jim Yong Kim as his nominee to be the next president of the World Bank.

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated Jim Yong Kim, a global health and development expert known for his work on HIV/AIDS, to head the World Bank.

Kim, who immigrated to the United States from South Korea at the age of 5, is a Harvard-educated physician who served as director of the World Health Organization's department of HIV/AIDS.

"It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency," Obama said.

The United States usually appoints an American to head the World Bank, while Europe names a European to head the International Monetary Fund.

The 187-nation World Bank focuses on fighting poverty and promoting development by providing loans.

Officials believe Kim's experience will counter criticism from developing countries of U.S. control of the World Bank presidency.

Current President Robert Zoellick will step down in June.

With reporting by AFP and AP

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