Ziad Hayek, an expert on public-private partnerships and former investment banker. Photo by: Lebanon’s High Council for Privatization and PPP

WASHINGTON — Lebanon’s minister of finance on Monday nominated Ziad Hayek, an expert on public-private partnerships and former investment banker, to be the next World Bank president. Hayek is the second person to have publicly entered the race, and the only known challenger so far to Trump administration nominee David Malpass.

Hayek is the secretary general of Lebanon’s High Council for Privatization and PPP, and a co-president of the World Association of PPP Units and PPP Professionals, a Geneva-based nongovernmental organization. He previously held senior positions at a variety of financial institutions, including Bear Stearns, where he was a senior managing director until 2003.

Malpass also worked at Bear Stearns, and the two appear to have overlapped, although Devex was unable to confirm if they know each other.

“We believe that Mr. Hayek fulfills the qualification requirements set by the World Bank and has demonstrated, throughout his career — spent almost entirely working in emerging markets, and in both the public and private sectors — a passion for the development, both social and economic, of countries and societies and individuals throughout the world,” Ali Hassan Khalil, Lebanon’s finance minister, wrote to Merza Hasan, dean of the bank’s board of directors.

“His strong commitment to the [sustainable development goals] and work with the United Nations on that front represent a good demonstration of this,” Khalil wrote.

Hayek worked on establishing Lebanon’s 2017 public-private partnership law, which he described as an effort to improve stakeholder involvement, create transparency, and establish a government body responsible for negotiating PPPs.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, infrastructure — whether telecoms, transport, power, water, health care, education, environment, or other sectors — is the basis for growth and development. To that end, cooperation between the public and private sectors is essential,” Hayek wrote in a blog post for the World Bank in November 2018.

World Bank governors have until March 14 to nominate candidates to succeed Jim Kim, who resigned as president on Feb. 1. Since the World Bank’s creation, the position has always been held by an American.

About the author

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    Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.