president Jim Yong Kim has announced that he will step down from his position on February 1 after more than six years at the helm of the multilateral global development organization.
First appointed in 2012, Kim was re-appointed for a second five-year term starting in 2017. Under his leadership, the bank established two goals in 2012: to end extreme poverty by 2030, and to boost shared prosperity, with a focus on the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries. Recognizing the power of capital markets to transform development finance, the World Bank Group under Kim launched several innovative financial instruments, including facilities to address infrastructure needs, prevent pandemics, and help the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes by climate shocks, conflict, and violence. The organization also is working with the and various technology companies to implement the Famine Action Mechanism, which is designed to detect the warning signs of famine earlier and prevent famine situations before it's too late.
Keenly aware of the need for more infrastructure funding, Kim pushed the bank to maximize its own resources by working with a new cadre of private-sector partners committed to building sustainable, climate-smart infrastructure. In that spirit, Kim has announced that he will be joining a firm in the private sector where he will focus his efforts on boosting infrastructure investments in developing countries. He also will rejoin the board of , a nonprofit he co-founded with Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Thomas J. White, and Todd McCormack in 1987.
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva will assume the role of interim president.
"It has been a great honor to serve as president of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime," said Kim. "The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity. Serving as president and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all these challenges has been a great privilege."
(Photo credit: World Bank Group/Wu Zhiyi)