Kristalina Georgieva, a former head of EU humanitarian affairs and vice-president of the European commission, has been appointed chief executive of the World Bank.
The Bulgarian, who recently lost out in the race to become UN secretary general, will report to the bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, who was reappointed for another five-year term last month. Although the title of CEO is newly created, Georgieva will effectively replace Sri Mulyani Indrawati, formerly the bank’s managing director and chief operating officer, who was appointed Indonesian finance minister in July.
Georgieva’s appointment follows upheaval at the institution, which has faced a backlash against globalisation driven by concern that the rich and western states have been the biggest beneficiaries of free trade. A shakeup of the bank’s management and organisation by Kim has also faced opposition from some staff.
Announcing Georgieva’s appointment, Kim emphasised her background as a European commissioner for humanitarian aid: “Kristalina is a globally recognised leader with a proven track record in improving the lives of those most in need.”
Georgieva, who will begin her appointment in January, is currently European commission vice-president for budget and human resource, a post in which she oversees a €161bn (£144bn) budget. She served in a number of positions at the World Bank between 1993 and 2010, including director of sustainable development.