Bush Proposes Zoellick To Head Divided World Bank

May 30, 2007
Robert Zoellick is a Goldman Sachs vice chairman known as a consensus-builder.

U.S. President George W. Bush nominated former diplomat and trade chief Robert Zoellick on May 30 to head the World Bank. By nominating Zoellick, 53, a Goldman Sachs vice chairman known as a consensus-builder on issues ranging from global trade to strife in Darfur, Bush sought to put an end to the scandal that rocked the World Bank for more than six weeks.

Zoellick's nomination must be approved by the World Bank board of executive directors, representing the poverty-fighting lender's 185 member countries. Late May 29 the board issued a statement recalling that nominations may be made by any of its 24 members. Traditionally the U.S., as the biggest contributor, names the head of the multilateral bank. European countries select the head of its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.

Zoellick once before was the U.S. choice to head the World Bank, in early 2005. However, he was called by Bush to serve as the deputy secretary of state and it was Wolfowitz, a former deputy defense secretary, who was selected. He became Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's deputy in February 2005, after serving four years as the U.S. Trade Representative. Zoellick left the State Department in June 2006 to join Goldman Sachs.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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