Hillary Clinton interested in becoming head of World Bank?

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Hillary Clinton interested in becoming head of World Bank?

Post by Shirley on Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:01 pm

Friday 10 June 2011

Hillary Clinton interested in becoming head of World Bank?

Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama's Secretary of State, has been in discussions with the White House about stepping down from her foreign policy job next year to becoming head of the World Bank, it has been reported.




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Hillary Clinton: Could she be interested in becoming head of the World Bank? Photo: AFP/Getty Images

By Toby Harnden, Washington

10:24PM BST 09 Jun 2011

Mrs Clinton, the former First Lady, Senator for New York and rival to Mr Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary race, is said to be eager to become the first female president of the World Bank should the post become vacant next year.

"Hillary Clinton wants the job," a source close to Mrs Clinton told Reuters, which broke the news of the possible move.

Robert Zoellick, a former Bush administration official, is believed to be ready to step down as president at the end of his term in the middle of next year.

Mrs Clinton has made clear she does not want to remain US Secretary of State, a gruelling job demanding months of world travel each year, beyond Mr Obama's first term.

Another source told Reuters that Mr Obama supported her taking the helm at the World Bank, which is traditionally led by an American.

Once formally nominated for the post by Mr Obama, Mrs Clinton's appointment would require approval by the 187 member countries of the World Bank.

Philippe Reines, a spokesman for Mrs Clinton, issued a strong denial, releasing as statement saying: "Secretary Clinton has not had any conversations with the president, the White House or anyone about moving to the World Bank. She has expressed absolutely no interest in the job. She would not take it if offered."

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, also denied that Mrs Clinton was interested in the role.

Taking over the World Bank could be seen as an end to Mrs Clinton's domestic political ambitions.

If she served out a five-year term, that would take her beyond the 2016 election, when she would be aged 69.

On the other hand, if she stepped down early from the World Bank she could enter the 2016 race for the White House with historically unparalleled experience in foreign policy, economic policy, on Capitol Hill and as First Lady.

Discussions about the next president of the World Bank would be a natural part of talks about who should replace Dominique Strauss Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund. The Frenchman resigned after being accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in new York.

The head of the IMF has always been a European and the World Bank presidency has always been held by an American, though this is now being challenged by some countries with emerging economies. The Obama administration is expected to back Christine Lagarde, the French Minister, for the IMF.

As Secretary of State, Mrs Clinton has been outspoken on global development issues, particularly the need to improve the economic circumstances of females in developing countries.

The World Bank provides billions of dollars in development funds to the poorest countries and is also at the centre of issues such as climate change, post-conflict reconstruction and transitions to democracy.


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Re: Hillary Clinton interested in becoming head of World Bank?

Post by ToddS on Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:14 am

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US denies Clinton seeking to be World Bank chief

1 hr 54 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Top US administration officials vehemently denied suggestions Thursday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in talks to lead the World Bank.

"It's 100 percent untrue," Philippe Reines, a close advisor to Clinton, told AFP.

"To be crystal clear," he added in a second statement, "Secretary Clinton has not had any conversations with the president, the White House or anyone about moving to the World Bank.

"She has expressed absolutely no interest in the job. She would not take it if offered."

White House spokesman Jay Carney also chipped in, saying: "The story is completely untrue."

US officials were referring to a report from the Reuters news agency that said Clinton was in discussions with the White House to leave her job next year and take over as head of the World Bank, replacing Robert Zoellick should he leave at the end of his term in mid-2012.

A source close to the global lender had earlier this week also indicated to AFP that the United States was studying her possible candidacy at the World Bank, where an American has traditionally holds the top job.

"It's a strong, serious hypothesis which they are working on," said the source, who was familiar with the matter but asked not to be named.

"There have been lots of signals" for the past months, the source added, saying they were mainly coming from the US Treasury Department.

A Treasury spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Clinton has publicly said on several occasions that she will step down as secretary of state at the end of the current administration, and speculation has swirled around her future plans.

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Re: Hillary Clinton interested in becoming head of World Bank?

Post by ToddS on Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:32 am

Exclusive: Clinton in talks over possible move to World Bank

By Lesley Wroughton Lesley Wroughton – 1 hr 41 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been in discussions with the White House about leaving her job next year to become head of the World Bank, sources familiar with the discussions said on Thursday.

The former first lady and onetime political rival to President Barack Obama quickly became one of the most influential members of his Cabinet after she began her tenure at State in early 2009.

She has said publicly she did not plan to stay on at the State Department for more than four years. Associates say Clinton has expressed interest in having the World Bank job should the bank's current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term, in the middle of 2012.

"Hillary Clinton wants the job," said one source who knows the secretary well.

A second source also said Clinton wants the position.

A third source said Obama had already expressed support for the change in her role. It is unclear whether Obama has formally agreed to nominate her for the post, which would require approval by the 187 member countries of the World Bank.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied the discussions. "It's totally wrong," he told Reuters.

A spokesman for Clinton, Philippe Reines, denied Clinton wanted the job, had conversations with the White House about it or would accept it.

People familiar with the situation, told of the denials from the White House and State Department, reaffirmed the accuracy of the report.

Revelations of the discussions could hurt Clinton's efforts as America's top diplomat if she is seen as a lame duck in the job at a time of great foreign policy challenges for the Obama administration.

Under normal circumstances, names of potential candidates for the World Bank would not surface more than a year before the post becomes vacant. But the timing of the discussions is not unusual this year given the sudden opening of the top job at the bank's sister organization, the IMF, after Dominique Strauss-Kahn's resignation following his arrest on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York.

The World Bank provides billions of dollars in development funds to the poorest countries and is also at the center of issues such as climate change, rebuilding countries emerging from conflict and recently the transitions to democracy in Tunisia and Egypt.

WOMAN HAS NEVER HEADED WORLD BANK OR IMF

The head of the International Monetary Fund has always been a European and the World Bank presidency has always been held by an American.

That gentleman's agreement between Europe and the United States is being aggressively challenged by fast-growing emerging market economies that have been shut out of the process.

The United States has not publicly supported the European candidate for the IMF, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, although Washington's support is expected.

Neither institution has ever been headed by a woman.

If Clinton were to leave State, John Kerry, a close Obama ally who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is among those who could be considered as a possible replacement for her.

Clinton's star power and work ethic were seen by Obama as crucial qualities for her role as the nation's top diplomat, even though she did not arrive in the job with an extensive foreign policy background.

She has embraced the globe-trotting aspects of the job, logging many hours on plane trips to nurture alliances with countries like Japan and Britain and to visit hot spots like Afghanistan and countries in the Middle East.

She has long been vocal on global development issues, especially the need for economic empowerment of women and girls in developing countries. She has made that part of her focus at State. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, has also been involved in those issues through his philanthropic work at the Clinton Global Initiative.

(Editing by Kristin Roberts, David Storey and Peter Cooney)

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