President Barack Obama on Friday nominated a Korean-American known for his work in fighting disease in impoverished countries to lead the World Bank, a job emerging economies are contesting for the first time.
Jim Yong Kim, 52, is president of Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school in New Hampshire, and former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organisation.
Despite the challenge from emerging nations - Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo were also nominated - the United States is expected to maintain its grip on the job, which it has held since the bank was founded after World War Two.
"He's worked from Asia to Africa to the Americas - from capitals to small villages," Obama said. "His personal story exemplifies the great diversity of our country and the fact that anyone can make it as far as he has as long as they're willing to work hard and look out for others."