President Obama taps PIH-co-founder and Dartmouth President to lead major international financial institution.


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On Friday, March 23, President Barack Obama selected PIH co-founder and Dartmouth College President Dr. Jim Yong Kim as the United States’ nominee to be President of the World Bank. If he is elected by the World Bank’s Board of Governors in April, Dr. Kim will lead the institution’s efforts to reduce poverty and generate sustainable, broad-based growth.

PIH co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer applauded the nomination of his long-time colleague and friend. “I can think of no one more able to help families, communities, and entire nations break out of poverty, which is the stated goal of the World Bank,” Dr. Farmer said. “Having had the good fortune to train with Jim at Harvard, and to see him work in settings from inner-city Boston to the slums of Peru, from Haiti to Rwanda to the prisons of Siberia, I know that for three decades Jim has committed himself to breaking the cycle of poverty and disease.” Read Dr. Farmer's full statement.

Dr. Farmer’s enthusiastic endorsement was echoed by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

“I was delighted to learn that Jim Kim has been nominated for this post, as he is a true friend of Africa and well known for his decade of work to support us in developing an efficient health system in Rwanda,” President Kagame said. “He’s not only a physician and a leader who knows what it takes to address poverty, but also a genuinely good person.”

 

President Obama officially nominates PIH co-founder Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank.

Dr. Kim is an infectious disease specialist and medical anthropologist who has been working to serve the poor across the globe for nearly three decades. He and Paul Farmer met as medical students at Harvard and joined with Thomas J. White, Ophelia Dahl, and Todd McCormack in 1987 to found Partners In Health.

Dr. Kim previously served as Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and as Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. From 2004 to 2006, he headed the HIV/AIDS Department at the World Health Organization.

Former President Bill Clinton hailed Dr. Kim as “an inspired and outstanding choice to lead the World Bank based on his years of commitment and leadership to development and particularly health care and AIDS treatment across the world.”

Dr. Paul Farmer’s statement on the announcement by President Obama of his nomination of Jim Yong Kim as President of the World Bank:

Jim Yong Kim is an inspired choice for the presidency of the World Bank. Having had the good fortune to train with Jim at Harvard, and to see him work in settings from inner-city Boston to the slums of Peru, from Haiti to Rwanda to the prisons of Siberia, I know that for three decades Jim has committed himself to breaking the cycle of poverty and disease. This has been his goal as a physician, a teacher, a policy maker, and a university president; it was ever his goal as a founder and director of Partners In Health, which now operates in more than a dozen countries and informs his teaching and writing. He has worked in rural villages and squatter settlements just as he has worked in the halls of power and privilege.

Again and again, we his friends and colleagues have seen Jim imagine a better future, one that harnesses new technologies and older but sound notions of justice and equity, and links this vision to much more than talk and reports and studies. Jim is all about delivery and about delivering on promises often made but too seldom kept. I can think of no one more able to help families, communities, and entire nations break out of poverty, which is the stated goal of the World Bank. As poverty continues to claim lives, and as inequality deepens, the Bank--and other institutions charged with lessening poverty  need bold and experienced leaders and implementers like Jim Kim. 

- Paul Farmer, MD, PhD
  Kolokotrones University Professor, Harvard University
  Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  Chief, Department of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  Co-Founder, Partners In Health

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