Argentina’s government has formally nominated Cecilia Todesca Bocco as its candidate to chair the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB, BID in its Spanish acronym).
The proposal, which came in at the end of the 45-day window for nominations, will see the economist face-off against four other candidates in the race to succeed Mauricio Claver-Carone of the United States.
His leadership ended following an investigation into reports of a personal relationship that went against the institution’s rules. Reina Irene Mejía is currently leading the bank in an interim capacity.
The dismissal of Claver Carone has sparked a fierce regional competition for the post. Member states will vote on the institution’s next leader on November 20 with five candidates in the running.
Brazilian economist Ihan Goldfajn, a previous governor of the nation’s Central Bank, is among the other hopefuls. Mexico has proposed the deputy governor of its Central Bank Gerardo Esquivel and Chile has nominated Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Michelle Bachelet's former finance minister. The other candidate is Gerard Johnson of Trinidad and Tobago.
According to Casa Rosada sources cited by the Noticias Argentinas news agency, Argentina is keen to push Todesca Bocco’s candidacy and see a woman take the top job at the IDB, a key lender for the region.
Argentina has never presided over the institution since its creation in 1959. Previous post-holders include Felipe Herrera of Chile (1960-1970); Antonio Ortiz Mena of Mexico (1970-1988); Enrique V. Iglesias of Uruguay (1988-2005); Luis Alberto Moreno of Colombia (2005-2020); and Claver-Carone (2020-2022).
Todesca Bocco, 51, is an economist who currently serves as international economic relations secretary at the Foreign Ministry, which is headed by Santiago Cafiero, a key ally of the president.
She previously worked as deputy Cabinet chief, also under Cafiero, and as secretary for budgetary evaluation, public investment and public-private participation. She has also coordinated the president’s economic cabinet and worked on the National Budget.
She holds a degree in economics from the University of Buenos Aires and a masters in public administration from Columbia University.
Outside of government, she held the position of senior advisor for Argentina in the Southern Cone department of the International Monetary Fund between 2004 and 2006, and worked in the Sovereign Risk Analysis Department of Standard & Poor's.
Todesca Bocco was also chief-of-staff at the Central Bank during the administration of Mercedes Marcó del Pont between 2010 and 2013, and served as deputy general manager of Institutional Relations and advisor to the Board of Directors between 2003 and 2010.