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McCollum to President Obama: World Bank Nominee Must Prioritize Women and Girls

March 15, 2012
Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2012
Contact: Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) – co-chair of the bipartisan Caucus for Congressional-World Bank Dialogue – urged President Obama to take into account two important considerations when he selects, later this month, a nominee to lead the World Bank. Congresswoman McCollum believes the nominee must be an American and have the "focus, understanding, and a commitment to advancing the interests and well-being of women and girls" in the developing world.

In her March 15th letter, she commended the current leadership of World Bank President Robert Zoellick and advocated for an American nominee who would build "upon the innovations and much needed openness" established by Zoellick.

Throughout the 67-year history of the World Bank, the U.S. president has nominated the World Bank president, all of whom have been American citizens.

"I firmly believe this tradition should continue," Congresswoman McCollum wrote. "The commitment of Congress and the American people to the Bank's mission is significantly enhanced by the presence of American leadership of the institution."

Congresswoman McCollum also called upon President Obama to select a nominee who would make the economic status of women and girls a priority at the World Bank.

"Your nominee must have the skills, understanding, and commitment to engage women who are heads of state, parliamentarians, business leaders, and local community members," she wrote. "I can assure you, American women and women around the world will be evaluating your nominee with great interest."

Congresswoman McCollum is the former board chair (2007-2008) of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank (PNoWB), an international organization of parliamentarians dedicated to increased accountability and transparency in International Financial Institutions and multilateral development financing. In Congress, she has been a champion for international development, global health, and creating opportunity for women and girls.

Current World Bank President Bob Zoellick announced that he would step down when his term is over in June 2012.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.