The World of International Organizations Explained

Ivanka Trump: I declined World Bank post

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as his daughter, Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump, delivers remarks on 5G technology (ARÊTE/Tia Dufour)

Ivanka Trump said her father offered her the job of presiding over the World Bank, but she turned it down so she could stay on as a senior presidential adviser.

The eldest daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press during a trip to Africa this week that her father had asked her about the opening at the World Bank to see if she would be interested in taking on a five-year term as president of the global lending institution.

Ivanka Trump also said in the AP interview, held during a trip to Africa to promote women’s economic empowerment, that she worked with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the selection process for the new president of the World Bank.

“He did ask me about that,” she said of her father,” but I love the work that I’m doing, and myself and Secretary Mnuchin, we oversaw the process of selecting the final candidate and bringing multiple candidates to the president, ultimately, for him to make the final decision.”

She said that she and Mnuchin “had a strong preference” among the candidates for David Malpass, who was selected by President Trump to lead the World Bank and gained approval for the job earlier this year.

Malpass, a former senior economic adviser for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, began his term as World Bank president last week. Both he and and the president have been stern critics of the World Bank and its mission of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity.

“David Malpass was unanimously confirmed and he’s going to do an unbelievable job,” Ivanka Trump said.

“He also cares deeply about women’s economic empowerment, and knows that the mission of the World Bank is to eradicate poverty,” she said. “And one of the smartest ways to do that is by targeting women. The education of women and girls, skills training, economic opportunities. So we’re — we’re very aligned, and I’m incredibly excited to work with him and we’re here at a World Bank conference doing exactly that.

When asked about any other senior jobs for her that she and her father might have discussed, she said that she would “keep that between us.” But she also said she did not foresee herself running for elected office.

Ivanka Trump’s four-day trip to Ethiopia and Ivory Coast, where she promoted a White House program to help women in the developing world, has been roundly criticized due to the contrast with the president’s efforts to cut foreign aid programs and his past insulting, coarse remarks about the African continent.

‘Good with numbers’

She had been rumored to be in the running for the World Bank presidency earlier this year. In an interview with The Atlantic magazine published earlier this month, Trump acknowledged considering his daughter for the job. He did not say he had made her an offer.

“I even thought of Ivanka for the World Bank,” he said. “She would’ve been great at that because she’s very good with numbers.”

Trump also said in that interview that he had thought of his daughter for several different roles including the job of United States ambassador to the United Nations, the nation’s second-most important diplomatic posting behind the position of U.S. Secretary of State.

“She would’ve been great at the United Nations, as an example,” said Trump, who called his eldest daughter “a natural diplomat.”

But he said he was talked out of making her that offer because of concern about what his critics would say. “If I did, they’d say nepotism, when it would’ve had nothing to do with nepotism,” he said. “But she would’ve been incredible.”

It was not clear how well her bachelor’s degree in economics, or her business knowledge as a Trump Organization executive and her privileged view from inside the White House might have translated into the job of running one of the most important international organizations for rebuilding after World War II.

Ivanka Trump holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, and she worked as a senior executive at her family’s Trump Organization before her father appointed her to serve as a presidential adviser in March 2017.

She is the middle sibling between her two brothers, Donald Jr. and Eric, who have also worked as executives in the family’s Trump Organization. She also has a half-sister, Tiffany, and a half-brother, Barron.

The World Bank’s management board approved Trump’s choice of Malpass despite their skepticism of multilateralism. No other candidate was put forward by the bank’s 189 member nations. Malpass most recently served in the Trump administration as Treasury Department undersecretary for international affairs.

He succeeded Jim Yong Kim, whose surprise departure from the helm of the World Bank at the start of February set up an unexpected test for the Washington-based institution, which has become the world’s biggest intergovernmental source of low-cost loans for international development.

The United States —the largest shareholder in the World Bank — traditionally nominates candidates to serve as president that are then vetted by the bank’s 24-member executive board. Americans have headed the bank since its creation at the end of World War II.

The bank’s sister lending agency, International Monetary Fund, also based in Washington, provides emergency loans for nations to weather economic crises. The IMF is traditionally led by Europeans; the latest head is France’s former finance minister Christine Lagarde.

The tradition of selecting candidates primarily based on nationality rather than merit to serve as heads of the World Bank and IMF goes back to the founding of the so-called “Bretton Woods” institutions at a U.S.-led conference at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire during July 1944.

The world of international organizations explained.

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