Oh how I would dearly love to see George W Bush nominate Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
as the next president of the World Bank! Her op-ed
in the IHT today shows just how good of a choice she would be:
I know personally that Bank staffers will favor reform – in fact will demand
it – if they are convinced it will enhance the work they do to assist the
poor people of the world.
The World Bank has so much to offer the world. But it needs to adapt, it needs
to be flexible in a changing world. The excruciating experience it is going
through can be turned to good if it is seen as an opportunity for true change
Will Bush listen to what this highly-qualified candidate has to say? Maybe
he’ll listen to House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney Frank,
House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, House Ways
and Means chairman Charles Rangel and House Foreign Affairs
Committee chairman Tom Lantos, instead:
"The nominee should be deeply committed to American values, but need
not have an American address. The global pool of talent is deep, and we should
make it clear that the United States believes that the
best nominee could come from anywhere," the congressmen said in a
letter dated May 24 and released on Friday.
I’d just note that Okonjo-Iweala is not only deeply committed to American values,
but also has an American address. The only thing she doesn’t have is an American
passport. There’s even a precedent for a foreign national becoming president
of the World Bank: Jim Wolfensohn. Although he, of course,
was nominated by a Democrat, Bill Clinton.