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International development experts share their ideas on how wealthy countries can promote prosperity in developing countries. Follow at

Feb 28, 2012

Following Robert Zoellick’s announcement that he will step down from the World Bank presidency at the end of June, the World Bank board has called for member countries to submit nominations for his successor, with a fast-approaching deadline of March 23rd. The board has said it will then narrow the nominations to a short list of three, with the goal of naming a new president before the World Bank/IMF spring meetings in April.

My guest on this week’s Wonkcast, CGD President Nancy Birdsall, discusses why it matters who leads the World Bank and how he or she will be selected—a topic she addressed in a recent blog post. In our interview, Nancy suggests two highly qualified non-U.S. candidates who could be included on the three-candidate short list, on the assumption that the United States will put forward a strong candidate. She then identifies two priorities for the next bank president, regardless of who is ultimately selected.