When President George W. Bush announced on Mar. 16 the nomination of neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank, many development experts were aghast at the prospect of a U.S. unilateralist heading such a premier institution. But knee-jerk opposition to the Deputy Defense Secretary may be misplaced. Wolfowitz, who was a strong advocate of the Iraq war, has extensive experience in development issues, including a stint as ambassador to Indonesia and as dean of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. He also brings management skills to his new task -- which predecessor James Wolfensohn didn't always display. Wolfowitz, 61, whose nomination could run into some European opposition on the World Bank's board, will need all his knowhow to make the agency more accountable and its $20 billion annual lending program more effective.
Edited by Rose Brady