Much to the delight of global and domestic HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis (TB) advocates, President Obama announced Friday his nomination of Jim Yong Kim, MD, PhD, for the post of president of the World Bank. Kim has served Dartmouth College president since 2009.
“Jim has spent more than two decades working to improve conditions in developing countries around the world,” President Obama said at an event in the Rose Garden. “The World Bank is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce poverty and raise standards of living around the globe, and Jim’s personal experience and years of service make him an ideal candidate for this job.”
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kim has lived in the United States since he was five years old. He received his medical degree from Harvard University School of Medicine and a doctorate in anthropology from Harvard as well. During his time serving as director of the World Health Organization’s Department of HIV/AIDS, Kim spearheaded the 3 x 5 Initiative, “which sought to treat 3 million patients living with HIV and is regarded today as one of the most successful modern global health initiatives,” according to a White House statement.
Obama had considered more than a dozen candidates for the position but, according to the Associated Press, “Obama pushed for a nominee with broad development experience and was particularly drawn to Kim’s innovative work fighting the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis.”
Current World Bank president Robert Zoellick announced in February that he would be stepping down from the post. Reuters reported that U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs is withdrawing his nomination for the World Bank post to enthusiastically support Kim’s nomination.
“Dr. Jim Kim co-founded Partners in Health, has been a global leader in driving the scale-up of AIDS and tuberculosis treatment and equitable access to health services, and has been a powerful ally of RESULTS in our advocacy work on TB and AIDS over the last decade and a half,” said Joann Carter, executive director of the global health advocacy group RESULTS. “This is an enormously exciting and transformational moment for the World Bank and the world.”