• Jim Yong Kim Event

Dr. Jim Yong Kim

President, The World Bank Group | December 11, 2013
Dr. Kim shared his goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 in addition to the re-organization of the World Bank

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of The World Bank Group, made news after speaking at a breakfast meeting of the Economic Club on when he responded to questions from reporters about the impact any potential draw-down of the United States’ aggressive bond-buying program, put in place as part of Federal Reserve’s economic stimulus package, might have on emerging markets. Dr. Kim said, “If the tapering is communicated effectively and if the tapering is gradual, which we hope it will be, then the impact of a growing U.S. economy will help to offset the impact of rising interest rates.”
Stories about Dr. Kim’s remarks were published by three global news outlets – Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and China’s Xinhua News Agency – and picked up by at least 79 different media outlets all over the world, including a publication in Kenya and print media in Canada. 
The event also generated worldwide news coverage for taking place on a day when inclement weather predictions prompted a shutdown of the federal government and caused many other event cancellations. A story published by Thomson Reuters reporting on closures in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area resulting from major snowfall predictions compared to activities that proceeded as normal reported, “Elsewhere, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim carried on with his speech at the Economic Club of Washington, delivering remarks on the private sector’s role in developing nations before a full crowd at a Washington hotel.” 

Excerpts from Event

“I always try to remind myself, I get to wake up every morning and go to work and my mission is to end poverty in the world.  … my job is to try to think about all the ways that we can help countries grow their economies, provide jobs, reduce poverty, and I get to do it in 188 countries in the world.” ~ Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank Group

“…there’s great opportunity [in the developing world] … There are so many win-win-win opportunities. For example, in Burkina Faso, a country that pays 74 cents a kilowatt hour – that’s about seven times what we pay Pepco here – … and yet, they’ve been growing at 6 to 7 percent a year over the last five years, even during the economic crisis. What they need is long-term capital. They need access to capital so that they can [develop] … the solar micro and mini grids that will provide them energy. An investment in energy in Burkina Faso could make you a very good return, lower dramatically the cost of energy for Burkina Faso, and actually spur their economic growth into the future. There are investments like that in Liberia, in Nigeria, all over the world, and we’re trying to be the dealmaker.” ~ Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank Group

“There was a great former president of Dartmouth named John Sloan Dickey, and John Dickey was the first head of public relations for the State Department in FDR’s government. When he, at the age of 39, went from the State Department of the United States to Dartmouth – and this was in 1945 – at his very first commencement address, John Sloan Dickey said to the students, I just want you to remember two things: First, the world’s troubles are your troubles; and second, there’s nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix. He set that tone for his presidency of Dartmouth. He had something called the great issues course, and he brought in the greatest speakers. Of course, he knew everybody from being in the State Department – Dean Rusk. Martin Luther King, Jr., came to speak twice. Thurgood Marshall came to speak 14 times. He would bring these great figures to the campus of Dartmouth and bring the world to Dartmouth and say to his students, this is your task in life: your task in life is to go out and tackle the really big problems. I was so inspired by that mission, and then a board member said, that’s exactly what we want you to do; we want you to now turn the heads of the kids toward the problems of the world once again and create a whole legion of young people prepared to go out and tackle the world. I thought that was pretty compelling.” ~ Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank Group

“…Partners In Health is the organization that tries to take on the most difficult problems and tackle the ones that everyone says are impossible to tackle. … in the late 1980s and the early 1990s we tackled drug-resistance tuberculosis. This is the most difficult to treat form of tuberculosis. The World Health Organization in the early ’90s had basically declared a death sentence on anyone in a poor country with drug-resistant tuberculosis. They literally said: Drug-resistant tuberculosis? Can’t treat it in developing countries. … that was exactly what we needed to hear to take on the challenge. And so we began treating patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis in the slums of Peru. And we caught the attention of this guy named Bill Gates and got a grant, and were able to show that you can actually treat it. And then we realized that the problem was high drug prices. So we went to Eli Lilly and Company, and those guys were incredible. They actually helped us to lower the price of the drugs for drug-resistant TB from $30,000 a year … to about $1,000 a year. … We actually convinced the world to lift this death sentence and treat drug-resistant TB.” ~ Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank Group

“…the next thing we took on was HIV treatment … there are 10 million people in HIV treatment now in Africa and everywhere. You don’t see these people dying of HIV anymore anywhere in the world, very, very much. But back in 1999, 2000, the conventional wisdom was, it’s impossible to treat HIV in developing countries. The drugs are too expensive and it’s just too complicated. We started doing it in Haiti and had such good results that we were able to convince President Bush, who then started the President’s Emergency Program.” ~ Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank Group

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