Ian Solomon pushes for a more effective World Bank

    Ian Solomon, U.S. executive director at the World Bank. Photo by: personal collection

    In March, President Barack Obama appointed Ian Solomon to represent the White House as U.S. executive director at the World Bank.

    “Ian impresses people with his commitment to fighting poverty, and his sharp focus on the president’s development agenda, particularly regarding the issues of transparency and governance,” said Mike Kelleher, one of Solomon’s advisers.

    Solomon had served as a senior adviser to the U.S. secretary of the treasury on international and domestic issues, including the White House’s global food security initiative. Previously, he worked on poverty, economic development, government reform, tax, budget, banking and finance issues as legislative counsel for Obama the senator.

    “In each of my recent roles … I have sought to advance Obama’s goal of collaborative problem solving to tackle our pressing economic challenges, with a particular focus on expanding opportunities for the poor and most vulnerable,” Solomon said. “The key difference now is that I work in a global, multilateral institution where the U.S. can more effectively advance our development goals by working in partnership with other nations.”

    Solomon is focused on making the bank more transparent, accountable and effective in the face a pressing agenda, including confronting climate change, ensuring global food security, stabilizing fragile states, and promoting sustainable, inclusive and balanced economic growth.

    “There are no one-size-fits-all solutions or easy answers. Every context is different, countries have different capacities, development has been achieved using different models of growth and has sometimes failed using different models,” he said. “I believe it is therefore critical to seek input from all stakeholders — private sector, public sector, faith-based, [non-governmental organizations], and the citizens of the nations who are the intended beneficiaries — and listen carefully, be driven by evidence rather than ideology, and be humble.”

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    About the author

    • Josh Miller

      Josh joined Devex's Washington office in early 2010 as an international development correspondent covering U.S. aid reform, the D.C. development scene and Latin America. He previously served as a marketing communications coordinator for TechnoServe, a news production specialist for the Associated Press and a news desk assistant for the PBS NewsHour. He has reported for publications in Caracas, Chicago, Madrid, New Delhi, Philadelphia, and Washington, and holds a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.