Jim Yong Kim, 59, will step down on February 1 to join the Global Infrastructure Partners investment fund, which specializes in infrastructure financing. A few days after the announcement of his surprise resignation, it is urgent to find a replacement. Several names circulate in the press, including one that does not go unnoticed: that of Ivanka Trump, daughter of the president and current counselor at the White House. This is in any case what reports the Financial Times this Friday.

Other names are also quoted by the daily: David Malpass, a senior Treasury official, as well as former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and Mark Green, president of the US Agency for International Development.

USA masters of the game

For now no confirmation. "We will not comment on potential candidates," said a Treasury spokeswoman. "The Treasury has received a significant number of recommendations for good candidates (…) We are starting the internal review process (of these candidates) for the appointment (of a US national candidate). We look forward to working with the governors (of the World Bank) to select a new leader, "she added. Statutory, it is not the United States who designate the president of the World Bank, but the Board of Directors of the bank.

In fact, an unspoken rule is that the US government has a casting vote, with the United States being by far the largest contributor to the World Bank's finances. Since the beginning of his term, Donald Trump has not hesitated to withdraw from a number of international organizations, the appointment of his daughter would be a way to ensure the continued participation of Washington.

The World Bank plays an important role in developing countries, especially the least developed countries, in areas such as education, agriculture, industry, or health. It grants loans at preferential rates to its member countries in difficulty. In return, it calls for political provisions (called "structural adjustment policies") to be taken, for example, to limit corruption, maintain a balanced budget or facilitate the emergence of a democracy. It has granted more than $ 66 billion in loans in 2018

"A transparent, open and merit-based selection process"

The Bank affirmed its commitment to "a transparent, open and merit-based selection process". It intends to publish before the vote the list of the three successful candidates, with their agreement. It remains to be seen whether Ivanka Trump will be among the candidates in the running. The 37-year-old has been a counselor at the White House since her father's investiture. In 2017, she was directly involved in the launch of a fund by the World Bank to promote business creation by women in developing countries. An initiative called "Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative".

Creator of a jewelry line in 2007, executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization, member of the board of directors of 100 Women in Hedge Funds, which offers support to professional women of finance, and counselor at the White House. So much for the CV. Experience enough to qualify for the post of President of the World Bank? If she is really a candidate, the Treasury will have to decide.

Anyway, there is no doubt that his appointment would raise questions, a few weeks after the appointment of Heather Nauert, former journalist of Fox News, and close to Donald Trump, as US ambassador to the UN in replacement of Nikki Haley. Last year she had been propelled by American diplomacy spokeswoman when she had no political experience.

The answer is expected in the coming weeks. Candidates for the presidency of the World Bank will have to submit their file between 7 February and 14 March. The appointment of the new leader of the institution, or its future leader, should be made before the spring meetings that will be held the week of April 8th.