Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Jim yong kim quits as president of world bank

Article from AFRIC Editorial
Keeping a top job especially at the helm of a financial body is very challenging, given the pressures that arise from left to right every now and then. This can directly relate to Jim Yong Kim who recently announced that he was stepping down as the President of the World Bank Group. The Korean-American on Monday, January 7, 2019 disclosed that he was resigning as the financial body’s president, a move that came unexpected and has sent shockwaves throughout the international aid community. Jim will officially leave that position on February 1, some three and a half years before his term expires in 2022.


No reason has been given for Kim’s unexpected resignation. However, his decision to step down as president of the Washington-based organization to join the private sector is being described by sources close to the bank as a sudden and personal decision that took many of its stakeholders unawares. In a letter to staff, the 59-year-old said the opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but he has concluded that this is the path through which he will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets. Kim has avoided public clashes with US President Donald Trump, but his policy approach to climate changedid not sometimes tie with that of president.Under Kim, the World Bank has ended its support of coal power projects – in contrast to Trump’s promise to revive the US coal industry.In April, Kim succumbed to pressure from the Trump administration over loan payments to China.

Traditionally, US presidents have appointed the head of the World Bank. Former US president Barack Obama in 2012 nominated Kim for both his first and second terms at the head of the top financial institution. His sudden resignation now leaves Donald Trump with the opportunity to appoint a successor. It is highly speculated that Bulgarian national Kristalina Georgieva, the bank’s chief executive, will take over as interim president when Kim leaves on February 1.


Jim Yong Kim, also known as Kim Yong is a Korean-American physician and anthropologist that served as the 12th President of the World Bank since 2012 until his resignation on January 7, 2019. A global health leader, he was previously the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a co-founder and executive director of Partners In Health before serving as the President of Dartmouth College from 2009 to 2012, becoming the first Asian American president of an Ivy League institution.

Early Life

He was born December 8, 1959, in Seoul, South Korea. At that age of 5, Kim and his family moved to the US where he grew up in Muscatine, Iowa. Education

Kim attended Muscatine High School, where he was valedictorian, president of his class, and played both quarterback for the football team and point guard on the basketball team. After a year and a half at the University of Iowa, he transferred to Brown University, where he graduated with honours with a Bachelor of Arts in human biology in 1982. In 1991, Kim was awarded an M.D. at Harvard Medical School, and in 1993, a PhD in anthropology at Harvard University. He was among one of the first people to be enrolled at Harvard’s experimental MD/PhD program in the social sciences.


Kim’s professional background is a rather rich one that has seen him climb the ladder over the years. His professional calendar officially took effect in 1987 when he, together with Paul Farmer, Todd McCormack, Thomas J. White and Ophelia Dahl, co-founded Partners In Health (PIH). The organisation started with far-reaching new, community-focused health care programmes in Haiti, which executed treatments based on local needs and by training community members to implement them. By the early 1990s, the program in Haiti was serving more than 100,000 people.

Kim’s journey with PIH ended in 2003, when he left to join the World Health Organisation, WHO, as an adviser to the director-general. Following his success creating programs to fight HIV/AIDS at PIH, Kim was in March 2004 appointed as director of WHO’s HIV/AIDS department. He oversaw all of WHO’s work related to HIV/AIDS, focusing on initiatives to help developing countries scale up their treatment, prevention, and care programs.

Kim started serving as a lecturer at Harvard Medical School in 1993. By the time he left in 2009, Kim held several positions including Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital amongst others.

Kim has taken part in a number of research and academic efforts. In recent years, Kim led the development of a new field focused on improving the implementation and delivery of health interventions in poor communities around the world. While at Harvard, Kim published numerous articles for leading academic and scientific journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Science, and others; and contributed to several books.

Personal life

Kim is a family man, married to Younsook Lim, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston. They have two sons, Thomas who was born in 2000, and Nico, born in 2009. He is equally an active sportsman involved in sports like basketball, volleyball, tennis, and golf.


In 2003, Kim received a MacArthur Fellowship and was named one of America’s 25 Best Leaders by US News & World Report in 2005. In 2006 he was listed as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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