Washington: US President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Dartmouth College President and global health expert Jim Yong Kim for the post of World Bank President, amid emerging nations pitching for a merit-based selection process.
"It is time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency. And that's why on Friday, after a careful and thorough search, I'm nominating Dr Jim Kim to be the next President of the World Bank," Obama said in an announcement made at the Rose Garden of the White House.
Obama said that Jim -- Korea-born American citizen – has spent more than two decades working towards improving conditions in the developing countries.
The nominations for the next World Bank chief is closing today, amid emerging nations including the BRICS bloc, seeking transparent and merit-based selection process. A US citizen has been heading the World Bank since its inception in 1944.
The high profile post of World Bank President would fall vacant after incumbent Robert Zoellick steps down in June.
Considered a surprise choice, Jim is a physician and an anthropologist. He co-founded  Partners in Health and led a World Health Organisation (WHO) campaign to treat the million
patients with HIV/AIDS.
"... the leader of the World Bank should have a deep understanding of both the role that development plays in the world and the importance of creating conditions where assistance is no longer needed," Obama said.
"Jim is the right person to carry on that legacy, and I know his unique set of skills and years of experience will serve him well. So I'm grateful to him for his willingness to serve. I do not think that the World Bank could have a better leader," Obama said.
Going by reports, Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Finance Minister of Colombia Jose Antonio Ocampo, have also announced their candidature for World Bank Presidency.

Traditionally, the World Bank has been headed by an American while the International Monetary Fund's top post goes to a European. The combined voting share of the US and Europe generally ensures that their nominees become the heads of the respective multilateral agencies.
Jim was the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. For the last three years, he has been serving as President of Dartmouth College.
"Despite its name, the World Bank is more than just a bank. It's one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce poverty and raise standards of living in some of the poorest countries on the planet," Obama said.
"And in a world that is growing smaller and more connected every day, that's a critical mission, not just for those who are struggling, but for all of us," he noted.
He said when hunger is reduced or a farmer is provided help to recover from a flood or a drought, it strengthens the entire world economy.
"When we put an end to a preventable disease, all of us are safer because of it. When an entrepreneur can start a new business, it creates jobs in their country, but also opens up new markets for our country," he added.
Further, the American President said that when a nation goes from poverty to prosperity, it makes the world stronger and more secure for everybody.
"That's why the World Bank is so important," he stressed.
"Jim has truly global experience. He's worked from Asia to Africa to the Americas, from capitals to small villages. His personal story exemplifies the great diversity of our country and the fact that anyone can make it as far as he has as long as they're willing to work hard and look out for others," he added
Praising the outgoing World Bank President, Obama said that over the last five years, Zoellick has made the bank more transparent, has helped shore up progress made in places like Afghanistan and has raised billions of dollars to help some of the world's poorest communities.