International Monetary Fund: Selecting a New Managing Director (2004)

Publication Date: April 2004

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Banking and finance



The issue of selection of IMF (and other international financial institutions) has been heightened by the resignation of IMF Managing Director Horst Kohler. Controversy focuses on whether a 60-year old convention reserving the IMF leadership for a European (and the World Bank for a U.S. citizen) is adequate for the current global economy. Proposals for a more open and transparent leadership selection process have been made, although it appears that the current selection process will follow the traditional procedure. Nonetheless, reform of the process is of active concern and will likely arise again in 2005 with the selection of a new World Bank president. This report discusses the traditional process and proposals for reform. It will not be updated.