Saturday, January 13, 2007

Republicans screwing up World Bank

From Bloomberg:

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz faces mounting criticism from directors of the international lending organization who say he relies on a coterie of political advisers with little expertise in development while driving away seasoned managers.

Half of the bank's 29 highest-level executives have departed since Wolfowitz, the former U.S. deputy Defense secretary and an architect of President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, took office in June 2005. Among them is Christiaan Poortman, vice president for the Middle East and a 30-year World Bank veteran, who left in September after resisting pressure to speed up the pace of lending and adding staff in Iraq.

... Three directors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they are concerned governments might be less willing to contribute because of unhappiness with Wolfowitz.


New faces include counselor to the president Robin Cleveland, who as associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget helped secure congressional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kevin Kellems, a former spokesman for Vice President Dick Cheney, was named director of external strategy. Suzanne Rich Folsom, a lawyer who joined in 2003 and is the bank's chief corruption-fighter, is married to George Folsom, who was principal deputy director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office and served as president of the International Republican Institute.

Wolfowitz, 62, ``has placed considerably more trust in a small group of outsiders from the Republican Party than in the seasoned experts in the bank,'' said Alison Cave, head of the World Bank staff association, which represents more than 13,000 employees.

``The changes under Wolfowitz are unprecedented in the calculated manner in which inexperienced or ideological replacements are being placed in senior positions,'' said Kapur, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

No comments: