The role will soon be open due to the surprise departure of the current president, Jim Yong Kim. But on politics Twitter, at least, the idea that his replacement might be the first daughter met with widespread derision.
“Of all the people in US who could be World Bank President,” tweeted California Congressman Ted Lieu, sarcastically, “the most qualified is Ivanka Trump, who lost her fashion line & happens to be the daughter of @POTUS. I see.”
The billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer, who is funding a campaign to impeach Donald Trump and until recently flirted with a White House run, chimed in: “This is among the most ridiculous proposals I have ever heard. Nepotism is just another form of corruption, so I am not surprised, but the level of absurdity is breathtaking.”
The FT did not reveal its source, but stories of impending promotion for Ivanka, a senior adviser to her father, are not without precedent.
Donald Trump has the power to nominate candidates to the World Bank position and has routinely considered his daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, as possible and actual candidates for all sorts of jobs for which they would not traditionally be thought qualified.
Trump was reported to have considered Ivanka for US ambassador to the United Nations. In March last year, she effectively acted, if briefly, as de facto interim secretary of state, after Rex Tillerson was fired. She also sat in for her father at a G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017, to widespread consternation.
In his bombshell White House-insider bestseller Fire and Fury, the author Michael Wolff wrote that Ivanka aspires to a higher achievement than an appointment from her father: to be the first female US president.
The US president does not have the final say on the World Bank appointment, which must be voted on by the bank’s board of directors. But presidential nominations have traditionally led to appointments, as in the case of Kim, who was nominated by Barack Obama in 2012.
The bank, founded in 1944, works to promote economic development and poverty reduction by “providing technical and financial support to help countries reform certain sectors or implement specific projects” in fields like healthcare, education and infrastructure.
Its has historically been led by figures with multiple decades of governmental, macroeconomic or academic experience. All 12 presidents to date have been men.
This article was written by Jamiles Lartey in New York, for theguardian.com on Saturday 12th January 2019 20.11 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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