Michael Horgan comments on what might be next in the selection process for a new president of the World Bank Group, following the surprise resignation of Jim Yong Kim. The story appears on the Centre for International Governance and Innovation’s website.
Kim’s decision to end his term early provides an opportunity to reform a process that assures an American always leads an institution that represents 188 other countries, which would renew faith in the postwar order that Canada and others have vowed to defend.
“It’s time to open the way for others to lead these institutions,” Michael Horgan, the former Canadian deputy minister of finance who also served on the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said in an interview. Previous leaders have been “pretty good,” but “you do wonder why these things are geographically limited,” added Horgan, who now is a senior adviser in the Ottawa office of law firm Bennett Jones.
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Trudeau could theoretically nominate a Canadian who might win support as an honest broker between the established powers and the emerging economies. Failing that, Canada’s interests would be best served by lending its support to a candidate put forward by the latter group. Trudeau could deflect any American criticism by saying that he was following Canadian tradition; Morneau’s predecessor, the late Jim Flaherty, backed Mexico’s Carstens to lead the IMF in 2011.
“We’ll have to see who comes forward,” Horgan said when asked whether the Trudeau government should try to disrupt the convention. “We’ve done it before,” he said. “A precedent has been set.”