Bloomberg News

Obama Said Considering Nominating Summers to Lead World Bank

January 26, 2012

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama is considering nominating Lawrence Summers, his former National Economic Council director, to lead the World Bank when Robert Zoellick’s term expires later this year, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Summers has expressed interest in the job to White House officials and has backers inside the administration, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the current NEC Director, Gene Sperling, said one of the people. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also being considered, along with other candidates, said the other person. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

Lael Brainard, the under secretary of Treasury for international affairs, is compiling a list of potential candidates to replace Zoellick, who was nominated to a five-year term that began in July of 2007 by then-President George W. Bush. By tradition, the U.S. president chooses the leader of the World Bank while the head of the International Monetary Fund is selected by European leaders. The nomination is subject to approval by the World Bank’s executive board.

White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment. Summers’ assistant, Julie Shample, said he was unavailable. Philippe Reines, a spokesman for Clinton, did not respond to a request for comment.

After leaving the administration at the end of 2010, Summers 57, returned to Harvard University, where he once served as president and is now a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at hnichols2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at Skomarow1@bloomberg.net


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