Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva begins work as World Bank interim president

Former Bulgarian European Union Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has assumed the role of Interim World Bank President, taking over from Jim Yong Kim who announced his resignation on January 7.

Georgieva has been serving as World Bank chief executive, and was appointed to take over from the departing Kim immediately after he announced his resignation.

“Starting a short interim assignment today as President of the World Bank Group. Proud as a woman, and as someone who came up through the ranks,” she said on Friday after officially assuming the role.

Jim Yong Kim’s resignation caught the world financial sector by surprise, as he still had more than three years at the helm of the institution.

The 59-year-old in his announcement said he was leaving the World Bank to join a “firm” – whose name he did not disclose – and that he would focus on “infrastructure investments in developing economies.”

Traditionally, the sitting US administration picks the president of the World Bank. Although there is a formal selection process for the presidency of the financial institution, its board has consistently approved US appointees while Europeans have won the post of managing director of the International Monetary Fund.