Zoellick To Head World Bank

Following up on Steven Taylor’s post from this morning, the International Herald Tribune and others are reporting that former U.S. trade negotiator and deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick will replace Paul Wolfowitz as the president of the World Bank.

Zoellick appears to be highly qualified for the position, and his apparent support from the bank’s European shareholders, developing-world clients, and many pro-reform critics should help in the continuation of the anti-corruption and streamlining process at the bank, which bogged down due to the combination of Wolfowitz’s lack of financial management experience and resistance from skeptical bank bureaucrats.

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Chris Lawrence
About Chris Lawrence
Chris teaches political science at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in political science (with concentrations in American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi. He began writing for OTB in June 2006. Follow him on Twitter @lordsutch.


  1. Wickedpinto says:

    I have never worked for an “area of operations” manager who knew what the hell they were doing at the small guy level. That is a farcical use of “qualifications” for broad managers.

    You think jack welch knows how a lightbulb works?

  2. davod says:

    Skeptical bank bureaucrats? Did you read anything about the incestuous politics of the World Bank?

    This had nothing to do with Wolfowitz and everything to do with corruption and entrenched interests not wanting change.

    Zoelick will have his work cut out moving any changes along. Unless of course he wants to get his family work in the World Bank or with any of the client.

  3. Any success requires getting support from the staff. As was shown in the Wolfowitz mess if the staff screams loud enough and long enough board members will perform 360s to please them. The World Bank is a deeply disfunctional institution

  4. Derrick says:

    I know that it’s commonplace to anoint any international organization as dysfunctional, but from all accounts the Pentagon was completely dysfunctional under Wolfowitz. Good leaders can mold an organization, and Bush hasn’t shown much talent for picking good leaders. It’s no coincidence that the Treasury Dept. looks 10x better through the first half of this year. The World Bank would be just fine with a leader like Volker or Paulson, I’m not so sure about Zoellick.