Wednesday, March 16, 2005
BY JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON - President Bush will recommend that Defense Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz take over as head of the World Bank, a senior administration official said Wednesday. Wolfowitz has been Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's top deputy and a lightning rod for criticism over the U.S. invasion of Iraq and other defense policies.
The administration began notifying other countries that Wolfowitz was the U.S. candidate to replace World Bank President James Wolfensohn, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made. Wolfensohn is stepping down as head of the 184-nation development bank on June 1 at the end of his second five-year term.
The United States is the World Bank's largest member nation. The bank traditionally has had an American president. Its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund (news - web sites), traditionally has been headed by a European. Wolfensohn, bank president since June 1, 1995, emphasized reducing poverty in developing nations and making lending projects more effective. Previously, he headed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was a Wall Street investment banker for 20 years.