Washington, Feb 5 : The Trump administration has notified World Bank shareholders that President Donald Trump intends to pick senior Treasury Department official David Malpass as the US nominee to lead the development lender, people familiar with the decision told CNBC and Reuters on Monday.
The nomination of Malpass would put a Trump loyalist and a skeptic of multilateral institutions in line to lead the world's largest development lender. Politico, which first reported the decision, said it would be announced on Wednesday, citing unidentified administration officials.
The nomination signals that the Trump administration wants a firmer grip on the institution. Malpass in 2017 criticized the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral institutions for growing larger, more "intrusive" and "entrenched."
Over the past two years, Malpass has also pushed for the World Bank to halt lending to China, which he says is too wealthy for such aid, especially when Beijing has subjected some developing countries including Sri Lanka and Pakistan to crushing debt loads with its "Belt and Road" infrastructure development program.
China is the World Bank's third largest shareholder after Japan, with about a 4.5 percent share of voting power.
Justin Sandefur, a senior fellow with the Center for Global Development, said the choice showed that the Trump administration was trying to undermine a key global institution and urged other countries to nominate alternative candidates.
The World Bank will accept nominations from February 7 through March 14 and up to three candidates could advance to a board vote.
Malpass, 62, was an economic adviser to Trump during his 2016 election campaign. He served as chief economist at investment bank Bear Stearns and Co prior to its 2008 collapse and served at the Treasury and State Departments under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. (With UNI input)