Carly Fiorina, who was tossed from the top spot at Hewlett-Packard last month, is now a “strong candidate” to become president of the World Bank, according to The New York Times, citing a Bush administration official. The current president, James Wolfensohn, will step down in May after a second five-year term.
Deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz is also seriously being considered for the position, according to the official. The Times noted, however, that the Department of Defense insists that Wolfowitz will remain in his current post.
Other potential nominees, according to the report, include Randall L. Tobias, global AIDS coordinator for the White House and a former chief executive officer of Eli Lilly & Co., and John B. Taylor, undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs. Traditionally, added the paper, European countries choose the director of the International Monetary Fund and the United States selects the president of the World Bank.
Fiorina’s possible nomination “is within the traditional mold,” said Lael Brainard, director of the poverty and global initiative at the Brookings Institute, according to the Times. “America has on occasion gone to someone with a proven record in the corporate world because, at the end of the day, the World Bank is a big management challenge.”
Bloomberg pointed out that Fiorina has limited documented experience working on development projects in poor countries. The wire service added, however, that she is a member of South African President Thabo Mbeki’s advisory panel on information and development. In fact, when Fiorina headed Hewlett-Packard, the computer company forged a partnership with communities in South Africa, India, and other countries to boost their access to technology, noted Bloomberg.