Monday, March 26, 2012

Ask a Korean! News: Dr. Jim Yong Kim Nominated to Lead World Bank

This is exciting. President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College, to lead the World Bank. To be sure, Dr. Kim is not the only nominee for the post. Angola, South Africa and Nigeria put forward Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian finance minister and former World Bank official. José Antonio Ocampo, a former finance minister of Colombia and a professor at Columbia University in New York, has also been mentioned. But given the World Bank's structure and history, Kim is overwhelmingly likely to head the organization.

Kim's nomination was generally unexpected, but is being praised as "an inspired pick" for the World Bank, which provides loans to developing countries. He was a former director of World Health Organization's AIDS/HIV department. Prior to working for WHO, Kim spent 16 years founding and operating Partners in Health, a non-profit healthcare provider which now employs more than 13,000 people in 12 developing countries. Given the importance of health issues in the developing world, Kim is expected to bring valuable new perspective to the World Bank, whose goal is to reduce global poverty.

This blog has long been a fan of Dr. Kim. Here is an excellent short video of Dr. Kim discussing leadership.

A great quote for those of you who want to help people:
I find myself giving that advice to my students today. You know, it's great to have all those great ideals. But when you go to Haiti, when you go to Africa, they don't ask you, "How much do you feel for my people? How much have you studied my people?" They say, "Have you brought anything?"
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at


  1. Sure, but then there are plenty of countries at a different point in development, where if you or I went there they would be greatly concerned about how much we know and care about them and are willing to interact as equals. Imagine going to Vietnam today and trying the same approach that you'd use in Uganda. I suspect that you'd be secretly reviled (after they'd taken the stuff you brought).

  2. As someone in the field of public health, I can tell you that a lot of people in academia, though rarely thrilled about the World Bank at all, are happier to have someone concerned with the human side of development more than just the economic side.

  3. TK,

    I recently showed this video to my nephews whom are both about to enter high school in Ohio, and I've even shared the "you have to get a skill" rhetoric to my aunts and uncles. I think Dr. Kim's notion of getting a "skill" resonated much deeper than I had ever anticipated, now they tell their friends and colleagues that obtaining a practicle and scalable skill is the most important attribute in the human-capital-driven economy we live in today.

    Thank you so much for the video. If, and when, I become a father, I will share this with my children.


  4. Haha. Whenever my dad slowly pulled the car over to the side of the road, I knew I was in for a long lecture. Especially if he pulled over into a parking lot. Sigh.

    Anyways, this is an inspiring video - thanks for sharing TK.

  5. I really like him and his rhetoric. I hope he gets the job; he seems like he could do great things with it.


Comments are not available on posts older than 60 days.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...