President Obama nominated Jim Yong Kim, the Dartmouth College president and highly respected pioneer in global health, to lead the World Bank on Friday.
Political and public health leaders had widespread praise for the nomination, even as the news left many surprised, especially at Dartmouth. Kim, 52, arrived at Dartmouth less than three years ago amid high hopes and quickly helped the school attain solid financial footing after the economic crisis. But his tenure has been rockier in recent months.
If he is confirmed to head the World Bank, his Dartmouth term would be one of the shortest for an Ivy League president in modern times. Dartmouth’s previous three presidents all served for more than a decade each.
“It’s not clear whether he and Dartmouth were a great match,’’ said David Blanchflower, a Dartmouth professor of economics, adding that the World Bank job seemed like a more natural fit. “The scuttlebutt has been that he was using the school as a steppingstone to something bigger and greater. Maybe this is better for both places.’’