Jim Yong Kim begins his term as president of the World Bank on Sunday, taking over from fellow U.S. citizen Robert Zoellick.
Mr. Kim, a physician who co-founded the non-governmental organization Partners in Health and helped pioneer public health strategies against tuberculosis and AIDS, was also president of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Mr. Zoellick will serve as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, the think tank announced last week.
Since the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were established in 1944, a European has always headed the crisis-lending IMF while its sister development agency has been led exclusively by Americans.
Developing nations have pushed in recent years for a greater say in the international finance system and have sought to have one of their own lead at least one of the two Washington-based institutions.
The processes that led to the appointments of Mr. Kim at the World Bank and French finance minister Christine Lagarde as IMF chief were officially open but still ended with the U.S.-European consensus.
After being named to the post in April, Mr. Kim said he would “seek a new alignment of the World Bank Group with a rapidly changing world. Together, with partners old and new, we will foster an institution that responds effectively to the needs of its diverse clients and donors.”