Former U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Becomes New World Bank President

Former U.S. Treasury Under Secretary, David Malpass, has been named the World Bank’s new president after a unanimous selection by the bank’s executive directors on Friday, April 5. Malpass was selected to serve a five-year term, which commences on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

According to a World Bank’s release, the new president previously served as Under Secretary of the treasury for international affairs, where he represented the U.S. in international settings, including the G-7 and G-20 Deputy Finance Ministerial, the World Bank-IMF Spring and Annual Meetings, meetings of the Financial Stability Board, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

“In his role as Under Secretary, Mr. Malpass played a crucial role in several major World Bank Group reforms and initiatives, including the recent capital increase for IBRD [International Bank for Reconstruction and Development] and IFC [International Finance Corporation],” the release said.

It added that he was also instrumental in advancing the Debt Transparency Initiative, adopted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to increase public disclosure of debt and thereby reduce the frequency and severity of debt crises.

Malpass was an international economist and founder of a macroeconomics research firm based in New York City prior to becoming Under Secretary for the treasury. He also served as the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for developing nations and as deputy assistant secretary of state for Latin American economic affairs, focusing on an array of economic, budget, and foreign policy issues, such as the United States’ involvement in multilateral institutions, including the World Bank.

He also served on the boards of the Council of the Americas, the Economic Club of New York, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Malpass earned a bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and an MBA from the University of Denver. He undertook advanced graduate work in international economics at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

He now succeeds Jim Young Kim who served in the position for more than six years.

Meanwhile, the board has expressed gratitude to Interim President Kristalina Georgieva for her dedication and leadership in recent months since Jim Yong Kim stepped down as president in February.

The World Bank president also chairs the Boards of Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association or IDA. He is at the same time ex officio Chair of the Boards of Directors of the International Finance Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Featured photo courtesy of the World Bank

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2018, he was also recognized as the Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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