World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim unexpectedly resigned on Monday, more than three years before his term ends in 2022, amid differences with the Trump administration over climate change and the need for more development resources.
Kim, nominated by former U.S. President Barack Obama for two five-year terms, had pushed financing for green energy projects and largely dropped support for coal power investments, but had avoided public clashes with the Trump administration, which has made reviving the U.S. coal sector a priority.
Kim told World Bank employees in an email that he was leaving the world’s largest lender and donor to poor and middle-income countries on Feb. 1 to join a private-sector firm focused on infrastructure investments in the developing world.
“The opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets,” Kim said.
Kim said details about his new job would be released at a later date. The physician and former Princeton University president said he would also rejoin the board of Partners in Health, a health advocacy group he co-founded 30 years ago.
Kristalina Georgieva, who in 2017 became the World Bank’s chief executive officer, will assume the role of interim president when Kim departs, the bank said. Georgieva, a Bulgarian national, had previously held senior European Union posts after serving 15 years at the World Bank, starting as an environmental economist in 1993.