Worldwide reported Monday that Jim Yong Kim, the newly-resigned World Bank president, leaving the global organization three years ahead of his planned retirement may allow for the United States to fill his spot due to the country's traditional role in picking its leader.
"It has been a great honor to serve as President of this institution, and I want to thank all of you for your support to our mission of ending poverty in the world", Kim wrote to World Bank staff in an email Monday morning.
He will "join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries", the World Bank said.
Last year, it also won approval for a sharp $13 billion capital increase after acceding to requests from the Trump administration to curb loans to high-income countries like China.
Under Kim's leadership, the bank set the goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and ramped up financing.
It was not clear why Kim suddenly announced his departure when he had more than 3 years left in his tenure. The Trump administration would be expected to nominate its preferred candidate to succeed Kim.
"During his term, President Kim emphasized that one of the greatest needs in the developing world is infrastructure finance, and he pushed the Bank Group to maximize finance for development by working with a new cadre of private sector partners committed to building sustainable, climate-smart infrastructure in developing countries". He said details of his new position would be made public later.
Dr. Kim who was elected president of the bank in 2010, was re-elected for a second term of five years, in 2017 and should have remained in office till 2022.
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva will serve as interim president effective February 1.