Washington | US President Donald Trump has nominated a senior Treasury official David Malpass as the next president of the World Bank.
If voted by the Directors of the World Bank Group, he would replace Jim Yong Kim as the president of the world bank, a position which has traditionally been held by Americans. The position of Managing Director of International Monetary Fund has gone to Europe.
Given the vote share of various countries inside World Bank, the confirmation of Malpass as its next president is now a mere formality.
Announcing his nomination on Wednesday, Trump declared Malpass as a “special man”, and as someone who was eminently qualified for the position. In his current capacity as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, Malpass, 62, oversees the working of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
An internationally renowned economist, Malpass brings 40 years of experience in economics, finance, government, and foreign policy to his new assignment, Trump said.
After receiving a degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s prestigious School of Foreign Service, Malpass served as deputy assistant secretary of the treasury under President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under President George H W Bush.
“The Wall Street Journal just said today in an editorial that David Malpass is an excellent choice, which is America is the largest contributor to the World Bank, giving it over USD 1 billion every year,” Trump said.
“My administration has made it a top priority to ensure that US taxpayers dollars are spent effectively and wisely, serve American interests and defend the American values,” he added. “Malpass is a strong advocate for accountability at the World Bank for a long time,” said the US president.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump had made an excellent choice by nominating Malpass to serve as President of the World Bank. “David has worked closely with me at the Treasury Department and understands the President’s pro-growth economic agenda that has led to the strongest US economy and job market in generations,” he said.
“As Under Secretary, he successfully negotiated a capital increase and reform package to focus the World Bank on its core mission of lifting up the standard of living in lower-income countries,” said Mnuchin who was assisted by Trump’s daughter and senior presidential advisor Ivanka Trump in the selection process.
“David’s extensive knowledge of the World Bank’s challenges and opportunities make him a uniquely qualified steward of a great institution that is operating below its full potential,” Ivanka Trump said.
“David’s leadership was invaluable in the design and implementation of the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) and I look forward to continuing our work together to realize the mission of the Bank, to eliminate poverty and build prosperity, by economically empowering women in the developing world,” she said.
Scott Morris, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and former US Treasury deputy assistant secretary for development finance and debt, said as the US candidate, Malpass will have a lot of work to do to convince other shareholders that he was prepared to move beyond his past statements and track record when it comes to the World Bank’s agenda.
“That includes the bank’s critical role in climate finance and the need for constructive engagement with China. The rest of the world holds 84% of the voting power at the World Bank. It’s fully within their ability to block an unsuitable nominee,” Morris, who played a leading role in Jim Kim’s campaign for World Bank president said.