The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has been in discussions with the White House about leaving her job next year to become head of the World Bank, sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters yesterday.
The former first lady and one-time political rival to President Barack Obama quickly became one of the most influential members of his cabinet after she began her tenure at the State Department in early 2009. She has said publicly she did not plan to stay on at the State Department for more than four years. Associates say Mrs Clinton has expressed interest in having the World Bank job should the Bank's current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term, in the middle of 2012.
"Hillary Clinton wants the job," said one source who knows the Secretary of State well. A second source also said Mrs Clinton wants the position. A third source said Mr Obama has already expressed support for the change in her role. It is unclear whether he has formally agreed to nominate her for the post, which would require approval by the 187 member countries of the World Bank.
The White House declined to comment on the matter. A spokesman for Clinton, Philippe Reines, denied she wanted the job or had conversations with the White House about it.