Robert Zoellick leaves lasting legacy at World Bank

During his five-year term, outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick has helped lead a turnaround at the World Bank and reestablished for the United States a key partner in advancing vital U.S. interests abroad. President Zoellick has placed new focus on pragmatic, common-sense solutions. He recognized that in order to meet the challenges of a changing world, the World Bank had to change along with it. In the last five years, the Bank has transitioned from a once rigid top-down approach to development, into a flexible, collaborative, and more democratic institution.
 

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President Zoellick recognized a critical reality: that alleviating poverty is vital to economic recovery. Investments in global health, education, food security, and empowering women and girls not only lift millions of people out of poverty, but create important sources for economic growth. These investments make the world a safer place to do business. Even as it responded to the global financial crisis, the World Bank under President Zoellick raised $90 billion for the International Development Association, the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest. The World Bank worked with developing countries to strengthen their social safety nets and build resilience to crisis. It also invested in critical infrastructure to remove investment barriers.  
 
At the World Bank, President Zoellick leaves behind a real, tangible legacy. His push to institute a “Freedom of Information Act” unleashes public innovation by allowing free, open access to the World Bank’s trove of economic data. This unprecedented step has ushered in a new era of accountability and transparency. President Zoellick created the Climate Investment Funds, which have already leveraged nearly $50 billion for practical investments in energy efficiency, technology development, and combating deforestation. These remarkable contributions will continue long after President Zoellick leaves the World Bank next month.
 
As co-chair of the bipartisan Caucus for Congressional-World Bank Dialogue, I look forward to working with the World Bank to continue the progress achieved during President Zoellick’s tenure.
 
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank’s next president, should give Congress—a major investor in the World Bank—confidence that an American with a proven track record of success will be advancing this shared vision for global development. Dr. Kim's significant contributions to global health, his commitment to partnerships on the ground in developing countries, and his proven management skills will make him an effective leader of this vital multilateral institution.
 
Together, we can build on the innovation, accountability, and effectiveness that President Zoellick has brought to the World Bank during his successful five-year term.
 
Rep. McCollum represents Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District. She serves on the House Appropriations and Budget committees.  She is co-chair of the bipartisan Caucus for Congressional-World Bank Dialogue.


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