Robert B. Zoellick
July 2007 - June 2012
Mr. Zoellick modernized and recapitalized the Bank, ramping up its crisis response and making it more accountable, flexible, fast-moving, transparent, and focused on good governance and anti-corruption.
About this Page
This page, produced by the World Bank Group Archives, provides an overview of World Bank presidents' tenures highlighting their major contributions to the development of the institution and the challenges each of them faced. The information on the presidents is primarily drawn from Bankers with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946-91, by Jochen Kraske, World Bank Historian (Oxford University Press, published for the World Bank, 1996). The information for the Lewis Preston presidency is taken from publicly available sources produced by the World Bank, and some external publications.
June 2005 - June 2007
Known as a good governance banker who pushed through controversial governance and anti-corruption strategy after extensive global consultations. Placed Africa at the heart of the Bank's poverty reduction agenda.
|James D. Wolfensohn|
June 1995 - May 2005
Known as the "Renaissance Banker." Pushed through reforms that have made the Bank more inclusive, with a renewed focus on poverty reduction.
September 1991 - May 1995
Distinguished commercial banker. Created a client-oriented vision for the Bank as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
|Barber Conable |
July 1986 - August 1991
Spurred on the "greening" of the Bank. "...became effective spokesman for the Bank and persuasively advanced the institution's reform agenda." - Banker's with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946-91, J. Kraske, 1996
|Alden Winship Clausen|
July 1981 - June 1986
Improved the financial management of the Bank. Wrestled with the onset of recession and the 1980's debt.
|Robert Strange McNamara|
April 1968 - June 1981
Expansionist with a social consciousness. "...indefatigable builder and wielder of influence on behalf of the Bank and the development cause." - Banker's with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946-91, J. Kraske, 1996
|George David Woods|
January 1963 - March 1968
"...credited with a great vision for the Bank and a number of bold innovations." - The World Bank: Its First Half Century, Brookings Institution 1997
|Eugene Robert Black|
July 1949 - December 1962
Built a solid financial foundation and led the Bank into an era of financial diplomacy. Much-admired chairman of the Board and popular CEO.
|John Jay McCloy|
March 1947 - June 1949
Started up the Bank's business and lifted its vision from reconstruction to development.
June 1946 - December 1946
Laid the groundwork for lasting Bank business policies.