On Wednesday, the World Bank announced that President David Malpass will step down from his position over a year before his term is set to end. Malpass has been President of the World Bank since 2019, when he was appointed by former US President Donald Trump, and has led the organisation in response to multiple crises, including the global pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and rising food and energy prices.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen praised Malpass' service in a statement, noting his strong support for Ukraine, his vital work to assist the Afghan people, and his commitment to helping low-income countries achieve debt sustainability through debt reduction. She also noted his commitment to ensuring a smooth transition and said the United States is looking forward to a “transparent, merit-based and swift nomination” for the next World Bank president.
Malpass had previously come under fire for his controversial remarks on climate change, but later clarified to CNN that he was not a “denier,” and that fossil fuel emissions are “clearly” contributing to global warming. On Wednesday, the World Bank announced that it has increased its climate financing for 2022 to a new high of $32 billion, more than double what it was before.
This opening gives President Joe Biden an opportunity to nominate a person who can carry out the green energy plan of the administration, and in doing so, help to fight climate change and lower energy costs for households.
In the past, the US has usually appointed the leader of the World Bank, while Europe has named the leader of the International Monetary Fund, its partner in the Bretton Woods system. Analysts have suggested Samantha Power (who is currently in charge of the US Agency for International Development) and Rajiv Shah (the president of the Rockefeller Foundation and former head of USAID) as possible picks for the Biden administration.
0. “World Bank President David Malpass to step down early” KTVZ, 15 Feb. 2023, https://ktvz.com/news/2023/02/15/world-bank-president-david-malpass-to-step-down-early/
1. “World Bank Chief Malpass to Leave, Creating Biden Opening” Financial Post, 15 Feb. 2023, https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/world-bank-chief-malpass-to-leave-creating-biden-opening