Here's what it will take Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be first female World Bank President

With more than 25 years experience at the Bretton Wood institution, Okonjo-Iweala needs to meet few criteria to get the top job.

Nigeria's ex-finance minister, Okonjo Iweala
  • Executive Directors have the power to select, nominate candidate for the position of the World Bank President.
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's former finance minister, may contest for the top job if nominated.
  • Here are some of the criteria for Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to meet before becoming World Bank President.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's former finance minister, is eyeing the top job at the World Bank for the second time.

Recall that in 2012, the development economist also vied for the same position but lost out to the outgoing World Bank chief, Jim Yong Kim.

Despite spending over 25 years at the Bretton Wood institution rising to the rank of a Managing Director, Operations between 2007 and 2011, the world-class entrepreneur and author needs to meet few criteria to get the top job.

According to a 2011 approved World Bank Board document on the Presidential Selection Process, Okonjo-Iweala needs to have the following:

1. A proven track record of leadership;

2. Experience in managing large organisations with international exposure, and a familiarity with the public sector;

3. The ability to articulate a clear vision of the World Bank Group’s development mission; a firm commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation; and,

4. Effective and diplomatic communication skills, impartiality and objectivity in the performance of the responsibilities of the position.

Who can select or nominate a World Bank presidential candidate?

1. According to the World Bank’s Articles, the Executive Directors have the power to select, nominate (and dismiss) the President by a simple majority as well as the Governors through respective Executives Directors.

2. The Articles are silent on specific formal selection procedures for the President.

3. The Working Group select the candidates who received the most support among Directors, prior to formal voting.

4. The World Bank Group shortlists candidates and publishes their names of candidates

5. The selected candidates will face an interview for the final selection process

6. The Board of Executive Directors picks a President by a simple majority of votes cast. The World Bank's Articles stated that the objective of the Board of Executive Directors is to select the President by consensus, which could be achieved through an informal straw poll process prior to the formal vote.


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