Trump's World Bank pick Malpass wins election

World Bank board elects U.S. Treasury's Malpass as next president

World Bank board elects U.S. Treasury's Malpass as next president

David Malpass, U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the World Bank, won unanimous approval from the institution's executive board on Friday, continuing the 73-year tradition of an American running the world's largest development lender.

Malpass was approved unanimously by the bank's 25-member executive board on Friday.

Malpass, who is of Jewish descent, begins his five-year term on Tuesday, replacing former President Jim Yong Kim, whose surprise departure in February came not even halfway through his second term.

Mr. Malpass, previously served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs for the United States.

Doug Hertzler, senior policy analyst with ActionAid USA in D.C., said he found it "disturbing" that "someone who has been against global cooperation would be named to head the World Bank, really without much objection".

In a phone interview with Reuters, Malpass said he would uphold the bank's commitment to reducing poverty in the poorest countries and to fight climate change, and pursue goals stated in a $13 billion capital increase past year. He has argued that the World Bank should be targeting more of its support for development projects to poorer nations. Americans have always headed the World Bank, while a European has always headed the International Monetary Fund since both institutions were created in the mid-1940s.

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But no other countries proposed any candidates to challenge Malpass, making his selection by the board all but assured.

This time around, bank board members had said there was little appetite for a challenge to a US candidate from developed economies such as Europe and Japan, and from larger emerging markets such as China and Brazil.

In an email to World Bank employees, Malpass emphasized the need to fight extreme poverty and "foster broad based growth for each and every borrower, and a stronger, more stable global economy for all".

"Faced with these challenges, our twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and achieving shared prosperity are more relevant than ever", Malpass said. "The Bank Group is strong financially and well equipped with the tools and talent to achieve measurable successes".

Before his nomination, Malpass portrayed the World Bank as too big, inefficient and reluctant to cut funding for developing countries that grow into dynamic emerging markets.

The 63-year-old US Treasury official in charge of worldwide affairs has been a strident critic of global financial institutions - calling their lending practices "corrupt" and ineffective, and complaining they are overly generous to China. Kristalina Georgieva, chief executive officer of the bank, has been acting as the interim president.

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