Washington, Feb 16 : Robert Zoellick will step down as President of the World Bank when his five-year term expires on June 30 this year.
"I will be here until June 30 and devote myself 100 percent to running the bank. I don't have any plans yet. I can decide that when I leave," Zoellick said in a recent interview.
During his tenure, Zoellick moved the Washington-based institution in new directions, supplementing its bread-and-butter development work with programs, for example, to create commodities trading markets that allow farmers in developing nations to get more predictable prices for their crops and thus invest more in planting.
He sometimes criticized the Obama administration for what he regarded as a timid approach to free trade.
Zoellick, 58, pushed European leaders to resolve their credit crisis, warning of the ramifications it could have for poorer countries.
Before joining the World Bank, Zoellick had served in the George W. Bush administration as deputy secretary of state and U. S. trade representative.
Zoellick's announcement will prompt a search by the Obama administration for a new World Bank president, traditionally chosen by the United States, The Washington Post reports.
According to the paper, speculation about the replacement is already well underway.
Possible candidates include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Obama economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers, now a professor at Harvard University, who worked for the bank in the early 1990s. (ANI)