US Nominates World Bank President Candidate

April 16, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. nomination (n.) [nom-uh-ney-shuhn] – the act of suggesting someone for an election to an official position
Example: The nomination for the position of president is now open.

2. former (adj.) [fawr-mer] – being the first of two things cited in a statement
Example:   Japan and China are different in that the former is a group of islands while the latter is part of mainland.

3. latter (adj.) [lat-er] – being the second of two things cited in a statement
Example:  The CEO likes both Mr. John and Ms. Thomas, but he hired the latter because a woman seems more suitable for the job.

4. transparent (adj.) [trans-pair-uhnt, -par-] – free of dishonesty
Example: Election should be transparent to be fair.

5. merit (n.) [mer-it] – a superior quality that makes a person worthy of something rewarding
Example: A good education is a merit for job applications.

Read the text below.

Korean-American Dr. Jim Yong Kim is the US’ official nominee to be the next World Bank leader. The nomination was announced by US president Barrack Obama.

Dr.  Kim is the president of the prestigious Dartmouth College and has worked as an official at the World Health Organization.

Obama believes Dr. Kim's background in medicine and his knowledge about health in developing countries makes him suitable for the job.  Obama says that a “development expert” may be a better candidate compared to past US nominees, who were mostly bankers and defense officials.

Dr. Kim's nomination comes as a surprise, as he lacks political and financial background. In contrast, the two other nominees for World Bank president, one from Nigeria and one from Colombia, have held government positions and are both finance experts.

Another challenge for Dr. Kim is getting enough votes from World Bank representatives. Dr. Kim has an advantage with 16% of the vote coming from the US, but he has to secure 9% of Japan's vote and almost 29% of the vote from the European Union in order to win.

Experts say this is the first time that non-US candidates could challenge a US nominee. For years, the US and EU have held top positions in world organizations—the former with leaders heading the World Bank and the latter with leaders heading the International Monetary Fund.

Because of this pattern, many hope the World Bank president selection process would become more transparent and based on merit.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

     If you were to vote for World Bank president, would you choose a doctor over an economist? Please explain your choice.
     What should be the primary qualities of an international organization leader?

Discussion B

     Why is it important for an election to be transparent?  
     Do you believe that elections can be 100% transparent? Why or why not?


April 16, 2012