World Bank presidential candidates profiled
- 23 March 2012
- From the section Business
Ivy League professor Jim Yong Kim is President Barack Obama's surprise nominee to be the next head of the World Bank. Who is he?
Dr Kim is a Korean-American physician, university administrator and a leading figure in global health.
The 52-year-old is married to a fellow doctor, and they have two young sons.
Born in Seoul, he moved with his family to the US at the age of five and grew up in Muscatine, Iowa.
In high school, he was president of his class, played quarterback for the football team and point guard for the basketball team.
He attended Brown University before going on to Harvard where he earned his medical doctorate in 1991 and a PhD in anthropology in 1993.
College budget cuts
He also co-founded the health charity Partners in Health in 1987.
Though a surprise choice, he is still the favourite for the top job, given the US holds the most votes at the World Bank.
He is currently president of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, one of America's top-tier Ivy League Schools, where he was appointed in 2009.
Dr Kim displayed an unexpected talent as an entertainer during an "Idol" competition at the college last year.
Video has emerged of the academic wearing a studded white leather jacket and "robot" visor glasses, while rapping to the song (I've Had) The Time of My Life from the film Dirty Dancing.
Dr Kim said he joined Dartmouth "to be more effective at making the world a better place".
But his tenure has not been without criticism, and he has sparred with students and the faculty over transparency and budget cuts.
When he joined the school its endowment had dropped by 22%, and he responded by modifying its tuition policy.
Dr Kim served for several years as the director of the department of HIV/Aids at the World Health Organization.
In that role, he worked to provide anti-retroviral medication to three million HIV/Aids patients in the developing world, a goal accomplished in four years.
His experience in assisting developing nations seems to have played a part in his selection for the World Bank role.
In 2003, Dr Kim was awarded an esteemed McArthur Fellowship, known as a "genius grant".
The foundation credited his work with having "inspired local communities, political leaders, and pharmaceutical companies to collaborate productively".
He has also served as the head of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.