David Malpass, the Treasury official nominated by US President Donald Trump to head the 189-nation World Bank, was elected to the job on Friday. Malpass was approved unanimously by the bank’s 25-member executive board on Friday. He will begin a five-year term next Tuesday succeeding Jim Yong Kim, an Obama administration pick who stepped down in January, three years before his term was to end.
Malpass was serving in the Trump administration as Treasury’s under secretary of international affairs. He has been a long-time sceptic of the World Bank and its sister lending organisation, the International Monetary Fund. Malpass, 63, will be the 13th president of the World Bank. Americans have always headed the World Bank, while a European has always headed the IMF since both institutions were created in the mid-1940s.
Malpass has argued that the World Bank should cut back on its lending to China, which he says is no longer a developing country that depends on the bank’s loans because it can borrow on global capital markets. He has argued that the World Bank should be targeting more of its support for development projects to poorer nations. His candidacy was backed by a global lobbying effort led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who promoted Malpass in discussions with foreign finance officials.
The World Bank board had said last month that it would interview Malpass and expected to make its selection before the World Bank and IMF spring meetings that will be held in Washington next week.
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