Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. Image: MONUSCO/John Bompengo.

Korean American Physician Picked to Lead World Bank


On April 16th, the Executive Directors of the World Bank selected Dr. Jim Yong Kim, currently serving as president of Dartmouth College, to succeed Robert Zoellick as president of the global development loan agency beginning this July. Dr. Kim will be the twelfth president of the World Bank Group since its founding in 1944, and will be its second foreign-born leader (the first was Sir James Wolfensohn, who was born in Australia and led the institution from 1995 to 2005). Dr. Kim will be the first Asian American to hold the post. All presidents to date have been American citizens, though that is not a requirement for the position.

Dr. Jim Yong Kim moved to the US from Korea at the age of five and is an alumnus of Brown University and earned an MD at Harvard Medical School and a doctorate in anthropology from Harvard University. Dr. Kim has worked extensively in developing nations with an emphasis on health. He co-founded Partners in Health, an organization that provides low-cost treatments for diseases in poverty-stricken countries, and served as director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department.