In an unprecedented and historic moment, Dr. Jim Yong Kim was named President of the World Bank this week. As one of Nyaya’s long-standing inspirations and mentors, Dr. Kim is one of the founders of Partners In Health, the current president of Dartmouth College, and one of the world’s foremost experts in pro-poor healthcare development.
The World Bank – charged with the mission of reducing poverty and promoting development – was founded in the wake of World War II. Since, it has evolved significantly, and has often been the subject of great controversy, receiving frequent criticism of its approach and strategy. In this vein, the naming of Dr. Kim as its new chief is a moment of inspiration that opens enormous potential as he brings his innovative background and experience to its helm.
Throughout Dr. Kim’s career he has been a leader in health, human rights, and most recently, management sciences. In the 1980s and 90s, as one of the co-founders of Partners In Health, Dr. Kim worked to bring healthcare to marginalized communities globally, from the slums of Peru to the prisons of Siberia. In 2004, Dr. Kim was named director of the HIV/AIDS division at the World Health Organization, where he led the landmark “3 by 5” campaign to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment around the world. More recently, Kim’s academic work has spearheaded the development of the global health delivery field – aiming to enhance the implementation and delivery of healthcare services in resource-poor settings globally – through which he co-founded The Global Health Delivery Project.
Throughout his career Dr. Kim has been a tireless advocate for the poor and has pushed communities, politicians, governments and multi-lateral institutions to focus on poverty alleviation as one of the fundamental priorities of our time. He has again and again challenged the status quo, and pushed the field of global health and human rights forward to new horizons.
Dr. Kim has been a true leader and pioneer fighting for the poor and marginalized. His background and experience will bring a new and inspiring approach to the World Bank; indeed, Dr. Kim’s perspective is perhaps exactly what the Bank needs. It is with hope and inspiration that we offer our congratulations to Dr. Kim, and look forward to deepening our work in the context of a development field that has truly changed.
Ryan Schwarz, MD, MBA, is on the Board of Directors for Nyaya Health. He is currently a resident in the Harvard Brigham and Women’s/Children’s Hospital Medicine-Pediatrics Residency program.