U.S. officials are saying that President Barack Obama is set to nominate Jim Yong Kim, the Korean-born president of Dartmouth College, to head the World Bank.
The 52-year-old Kim is a surprise nomination by the U.S. to fill the top job at the international financial institution. An American has always held the position, but developing nations say they are interested in filling the slot with a candidate from outside the U.S.
If confirmed by the World Bank board, Kim would replace Robert Zoellick, who recently announced his resignation effective at the end of June.
Kim is a physician by training and also an anthropologist, and is a prominent figure in global health circles. He has been a leader in fighting the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis.
He has been president of Dartmouth College, a prestigious university in the northeastern state of New Hampshire, since July 2009.
The 187-nation World Bank, with the U.S. as its prime financial supporter, focuses on fighting world poverty and promoting development. The Washington-based agency makes loans to countries looking to build their infrastructure with new dams, roads and other projects.