Possible names are already floating around Washington, including David Malpass, a current top Treasury official on global affairs, Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the UN, Mark Green, head of the US Agency for worldwide Development, and even Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter.
The post has always been held by an American, in a deal that has given the Europeans control at the International Monetary Fund, which means Donald Trump has an opportunity to turn the World Bank into a tool of U.S. imperialism and a weapon in his economic war with China.
Kim abruptly announced Monday he was cutting short his tenure as the bank's president more than three years before his second term was due to end.
The Treasury Department told AFP on Friday that it had no comment in potential candidates.
According to a long-standing tradition, the World Bank is led by an American pick: the United States nominates the president as the largest shareholder in the financial institution.
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A new president selected by Trump could change The World Bank's priorities.
Ivanka Trump's previous business experience includes her work with the Trump Organization and managing her own lifestyle and fashion brand.
The President of the World Bank is ex officio chair of the Board of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). "The world has an interest in the USA staying engaged with the World Bank". The US prevailed in selecting its preferred candidate over challengers from Nigeria and Colombia, but the process was grueling.
Kim was the first American nominee to face a contested election for the World Bank presidency in 2012 and the bank's board has said its selection process will be "open, merit-based and transparent", implying non-US candidates would not be ruled out.
Trump's Administration has been opposed to globalist institutions such as the World Bank, but will now been tasked with suggesting someone for the role.