President Obama has nominated Jim Yong Kim, MD, PhD, for president of the World Bank, according to a White House statement. He is currently president of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Previously, Kim was chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; co-founder and executive director of Partners in Health; and director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization (WHO). At WHO, Kim launched the “3 by 5” initiative to get three million people in developing countries on HIV treatment by the end of 2005.  

“It’s time for a development professional to lead the world’s largest development agency,” said Obama during remarks on the nomination. “I have made HIV/AIDS and the fight against that dreaded disease and the promotion of public health a cornerstone of my development agenda…We pursue these efforts around the globe because it’s the right thing to do, and also because healthy populations enable growth and prosperity. And I’m pleased that Jim brings this particular experience with him to his new job.”

“Jim Yong Kim is exceptionally well qualified to serve as president of the World Bank,” said Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner. “He is an innovative leader whose groundbreaking work to fight disease and combat poverty has saved lives around the globe…Development is his lifetime commitment, and it is his passion.”

“Jim Kim is an inspired and outstanding choice to lead the World Bank based on his years of commitment and leadership to development and particularly health care and AIDS treatment across the world,” said former President Bill Clinton.

“Jim is all about delivery and about delivering on promises often made but too seldom kept…As poverty continues to claim lives, and as inequality deepens, the Bank—and other institutions charged with lessening poverty—need bold and experienced thinkers and implementers like Jim Kim. Alas, he’s one of a kind,” said Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, current chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Partners in Health.

The World Bank’s mission is to reduce poverty and support development, serving as a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries across the globe.

To read the White House statement, click here.

To read President Obama’s remarks, click here.

To read more reactions to Kim’s nomination, click here.