President of the World Bank
The President of the World Bank Group is the chief official charged with carrying out the policies and programs of the organization. Mr. Jim Yong Kim is the twelfth president of the World Bank Group. He took office on July 1, 2012. He is chairman of the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors and president of five interrelated organizations:
The President is assisted in overall management by a team of Managing Directors, who in turn oversee the various regional and sectoral units of the World Bank. The World Bank Group's senior management is made up of three managing directors, several senior Vice Presidents, the Chief Economist, and the General Counsel.
Vice Presidential Units (VPUs)
The World Bank currently has over 20 Vice Presidents who manage 6 geographic regions, 11 thematic networks and a number of other operational units. The Vice Presidential Unit, or VPU, is the principal organizational unit of the World Bank. Within each region there are country management units that are responsible for the World Bank’s operations in a country or group of country. Important units in the World Bank include: Development Economics (DEC) which carries out economic research; Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) which oversees operational procedures; Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) a semi-independent unit which evaluates all Bank projects and reports directly to the Board of Executive Directors; World Bank Institute (WBI) which promotes out training and knowledge-sharing activities; and the External Affairs Department (EXT) which is in charge of institutional outreach (including outreach to civil society organizations), media relations, publications, and operational communications.
Management at the Country Level
The Bank organizes its operations on a regional basis. A Vice President heads each of six regions - Africa, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean - and is responsible for all operations in the borrowing countries within that region.
Each region has several Country Management Units (CMU). Each CMU is responsible for the Bank dialogue with the country and the preparation of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), which is the basis for the Bank’s financial support to the country. In addition, there are regional technical units made up of technical staff with specialized knowledge and skills in the major sector (Agriculture, Industry/Energy, Infrastructure, and Social Development) who act as consultants, providing expertise on a project-by-project basis.
Each project is handled by a Task Team Leader who has overall responsibility for the project from inception to completion, including monitoring, procurement and consultant selection. The Task Team Leader is selected from the professional staff based on his or her experience and professional training. The Task Team Leader can answer specific questions about a given project and is therefore a useful source of information for interested suppliers. Each region has a procurement adviser who monitors procurement activities, reviews documents, and provides advice and assistance to the Task Team Leader on procurement matters.
The Bank is initiating a decentralization process and over 50 CMUs and respective Country Directors are now located at the country level. In addition, the Bank has established Country Offices in most of the borrowing countries. These decentralized CMUs provide information on Bank activities and business opportunities in the respective countries, and improve the Bank's institutional "footprint" in those countries.
The World Bank has some 10,000 staff who work at its headquarters in Washington and in over 100 country offices worldwide. As a result of an effort to promote closer working relations with the host countries, over 3,000 staff now reside and work at the country level. Over 60% of the staff is from developing countries which promotes a strong international culture at the World Bank. Bank staff come from a variety of academic fields – economy, engineering, social sciences, finances, rural development, environmental sciences, finance, administration – and have varied institutional experiences. With the Bank’s recent emphasis on engaging civil society, it has also been hiring professionals with experience in the civil society sector, either having worked with CSOs or quite familiar with the sector.
In addition to belonging to a regional or operational unit, World Bank staff are also mapped to thematic networks which are geared to strengthening technical expertise, promoting staff collaboration, and sharing knowledge across the institution. Staff have established dozens of Thematic Groups across the institution which focus on such specific development topics as education, social analysis, safeguards, AIDS, civil society, rural development and empowerment. Bank staff have also established a Staff Association which looks out for the employment, retirement, and work life balance needs of Bank staff.