Trump introduces World Bank critic David Malpass to lead it

David Malpass, undersecretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department, speaks with Trish Regan during "Trish Regan Primetime" on Fox Business in Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. President Donald Trump has nominated Malpass, a sharp critic of the World Bank, to lead it, saying he is the "right person to take on this incredibly important job." (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday introduced David Malpass, a Treasury official he has nominated to lead the World Bank, as the “right person to take on this incredibly important job.”

Malpass, who is now Trump’s undersecretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department, has been a sharp critic of the 189-nation World Bank. He has argued that the bank, a lending institution with a focus on emerging countries, has concerned itself too much with its own expansion and not enough with its core missions, like fighting poverty.

Malpass would succeed Jim Yong Kim, who left in January three years before his term was to end.

Malpass, 62, made clear Wednesday that his focus at the World Bank would include furthering the Trump administration’s agendas for developing countries.

One major initiative, he said, would be to implement changes to the World bank that he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin helped negotiate. And in a nod to the president’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, Malpass said he would focus on improving the status of women.

“A key goal will be to ensure that women achieve full participation in developing economies,” Malpass said. “I know Ivanka has been a strong leader on women’s economic empowerment, and I look forward to continuing our work together on her women’s global development and prosperity initiative.