He can rap, he can dance, but should Jim Yong Kim be the next President of the World Bank?

March 24, 2012 2 By admin

I’m in Boston and should really be going off to teach a weekend course on How Change Happens at Brandeis University, but I can’t drag myself away from watching Jim Yong Kim on youtube. Kim, a Korean American health expert and currently president of the prestigious Dartmouth College, is Washington’s nomination for the next head of the World Bank, a choice presumably intended to wrongfoot critics of the US’ traditional stranglehold on the nomination (because a) he was born in South Korea and b) he knows a lot about development). The critics are unimpressed: Kevin Gallagher explains why Colombia’s José Antonio Ocampo is better qualified for the job and Lant Pritchett does the same for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. They’re both pretty convincing.

On the other hand, and talking of nifty footwork, I bet neither Ocampo or Okonjo-Iweala has performed Thriller on stage – watch this to two minutes in to see ‘the only Ivy League president who can dance’ (admittedly, not a very high bar….).  [h/t Global Dashboard]

He can also rap, or at least is willing to give it a go in public (three minutes in)

Not only that but he is not Larry Summers. The man clearly has a lot going for him.

OK, I really must go to work now (more to follow on the Brandeis seminar – really interesting group of students)