Washington: US President George W Bush will name former deputy secretary of State Robert Zoellick as the next World Bank head. Bush will announce the decision later on 30 May, officials said.
Zoellick will succeed Paul Wolfowitz, who is stepping down on 30 June after findings by a special bank panel that he broke bank rules when he arranged for a hefty compensation package in 2005 for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a bank employee.
The White House said on 29 May the nomination process for the next President of the World Bank is almost through but press secretary John Snow did not speculate on any names. Zoellick must be approved by the World Bank’s 24-member board.
Wolfowitz was the Number Two at the Pentagon and was generally seen as a key architect of the Iraq war, a stance that eventually made him pay the price at the bank as from the start Europeans were upset that Bush would pick someone to run the bank who is closely associated with the war.
Tradition has been that the World Bank has been run by an American while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is headed by someone from Europe.