WASHINGTON - The World Bank said Friday it would select a new president to succeed Robert Zoellick by April 20, the start of the World Bank and IMF's spring meetings in Washington.
Zoellick announced Wednesday he would step down at the end of his five-year term on June 30, setting up a race for the top post at the development bank.
Nominations will be accepted through March 23, the World Bank said in a statement outlining the selection process. Candidates must be members of the Bank's 187 member countries.
Following the nomination deadline, a shortlist of up to three candidates will be selected for interviews by the Bank's executive directors, "with the expectation of selecting the new president by consensus by the Spring Meetings of 2012," the bank said.
"The executive directors expressed their deep appreciation to President Zoellick for his leadership of the World Bank Group and its very significant accomplishments during his tenure," the board said.
The board "reconfirmed the importance of a merit-based and transparent process with all executive directors able to nominate and then consider all candidates."
His departure sets up the second battle in less than a year over US and European dominance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the world's two leading multilateral financial institutions.
Thanks to an unwritten pact between European powers and the United States dating to 1945, all 11 Bank presidents have been Americans and all IMF managing directors have come from Europe.