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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 16, 2012

UI international finance expert sees opportunity in replacing World Bank president

An international finance expert at the University of Iowa praised the tenure of outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick and says his departure presents an opportunity to expand the organization's leadership outside the United States.

"During his tenure as World Bank president, Robert Zoellick earnestly sought to promote the interests of the poor and developing countries, while recognizing that we are transitioning to a multipolar framework of global economic governance," says Enrique Carrasco, professor of law in the UI College of Law and director of the UI Center for International Finance and Development. "His appointment was a marked improvement over the disastrous tenure of Paul Wolfowitz."

Zoellick announced Wednesday that he'll step down as president of the international development and financing body when his term ends June 30. Much of his leadership tenure has been spent dealing with the fallout from the real estate collapse, followed by worldwide recession in 2008.

President Barack Obama has said he will nominate a replacement for Zoellick soon. Under an informal agreement, the head of the World Bank has traditionally been an American, while the head of the International Monetary Fund has been European. Carrasco says he hopes that officials are willing to break that tradition and appoint a new president from outside the U.S./European sphere.

"Given the global consensus that selecting the heads of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund should be based on merit rather than on the tradition of reserving those positions for the U.S. and Europe, the selection process for Zoellick's successor should be global in scope," says Carrasco.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Enrique Carrasco, professor of law, director, UI Center for International Finance and Development, 319-335-9059,; Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),