Ivanka Trump to help choose new World Bank president, White House says

Ms Trump will help select a successor to Jim Yong Kim

Annie Karni
Washington
Tuesday 15 January 2019 17:02
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Ivanka Trump delivers remarks during the signing ceremony for the First Step Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act in the Oval Office of the White House, 21 December 2018, Washington, DC.
Ivanka Trump delivers remarks during the signing ceremony for the First Step Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act in the Oval Office of the White House, 21 December 2018, Washington, DC.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and senior adviser, will play a role in helping to select the next head of the World Bank, the White House said Monday.

Ms Trump, who had been rumoured to be a contender for the position herself, will not be a candidate, a Trump administration official said. But she will assist Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in choosing a successor to Jim Yong Kim, the current president of the World Bank who announced last week he would be stepping down.

Mr Mnuchin called Ms Trump last week and asked her if she would be involved, an administration official said.

Jessica Ditto, a White House spokeswoman, said Trump was asked because “she’s worked closely with the World Bank’s leadership for the past two years.”

Administration officials are expected to begin the interview process for the job, which has always gone to an American, on Tuesday. The White House did not provide any names of contenders, but the official noted that one person whose name has been floated — Nikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador — was not a candidate.

Ms Trump, Mr Mnuchin and Mr Mulvaney will make recommendations to President Donald Trump, who will nominate a candidate for the position. Member countries of the World Bank will then vote on the nominee.

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Traditionally, the US president’s pick is accepted and Europe chooses the leader of the International Monetary Fund because both institutions were founded during World War II. Kim, for instance, a former Dartmouth College president and a global health expert, was selected for the post by President Barack Obama in 2012.

In explaining Ivanka Trump’s qualifications for participating in the selection process, the administration official cited both Trump’s close relationship with Mnuchin as well as her work with Kim.

Last year, for instance, she helped start the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, a fund administered by the World Bank and branded “We-Fi,” at the Group of 20 conference in Hamburg, Germany. The goal of the fund, which Ms Trump is credited with envisioning, is to generate $1.6 billion in capital for female entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The New York Times

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