March 8th, 2012

Jeffrey Sachs, Campaigning to Run the World Bank


Some things are questions of etiquette: How to hold your fork. When to take off your hat. Not to touch the Queen of England until she extends her hand.

One of the things that’s just not done is to campaign openly for the presidency of the World Bank. Such a campaign has been seen in the past as crass, unseemly and, more importantly, ineffective.

But now Jeffrey D. Sachs, an economist, best-selling author and director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, is openly drumming up support for his own candidacy. Sachs says he has spoken to dozens of world leaders in the past week and won public endorsements from the prime ministers of Kenya, Malaysia, and Namibia and senior economic officials from other developing nations.

Ultimately, the decision rests with the White House, which invariably picks an American. That takes a lot of respected development experts from around the world out of the running. Yet Sachs — who has been advising foreign governments for a quarter-century and who has marshalled support from the likes of Bono and Bill Gates for economic development — hopes that a growing list of foreign leaders familiar with his work will help him get the job.

“There have been 11 presidents of the World Bank, and not one of them yet has been an expert in international development,” Sachs said in an interview Thursday. “The world would be better off and America’s interests in a peaceful world would be better served by an expert in development at the bank.”…

Read full article in The Washington Post.



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