David Malpass, the president of the World Bank, has announced his intention to step down from his post by June this year. This news comes ahead of the 2024 expiration of his tenure of office and provides an opening for the Biden administration to appoint a leader for the organization who can carry out its goal of overhauling the global development lender to focus more on fighting climate change.
In an email to staff, Malpass praised the World Bank employees for their efforts in buffering developing countries from a series of global shocks, like the Covid-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, sharp global economic slowdown, unsustainable debt burdens, climate change, and food, fertilizer, and energy shortages.
He also commented on his departure, saying, “It has been an enormous honour and privilege to serve as president of the world’s premier development institution alongside so many talented and exceptional people.”
The news has been welcomed by those in the climate change field. Jake Schmidt, the senior strategic director of international climate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “We welcome the departure of a climate and development laggard as the head of a critical international finance institution. We need World Bank leadership committed to bold action to unleash more and better climate finance to meet the scale of the climate crisis and the needs of developing countries.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “While we all must continue to raise our collective ambitions in the fight against climate change, during President Malpass’ tenure the World Bank has made important recent advances in this area.”
The next few months will provide a good opportunity for a smooth leadership transition, as many well-known figures have been mentioned for the role, such as U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry, former Vice President Al Gore and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Minouche Shafik, Daleep Singh, World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and former U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Raj Shah.
It will be interesting to see who will take the helm of the World Bank and continue the work of Malpass.
0. “World Bank President To Step Down June Ahead Of 2024 Tenure Expiration – Heritage Times” The Heritage Times, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.theheritagetimes.com/world-bank-president-to-step-down-june-ahead-of-2024-tenure-expiration/
1. “World Bank President Malpass to Leave, Creating Biden Opening” Bloomberg, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-15/world-bank-president-david-malpass-plans-to-step-down-early
2. “World Bank chief to leave by July” POLITICO, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/02/15/world-bank-chief-malpass-departing-00083070
3. “David Malpass will step down as World Bank head” Axios, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/02/15/world-bank-david-malpass-stepping-down