Governments from Latin America and the Caribbean, together with the United States and Canada, are set to consider five candidates next week as they move forward to select a new chief for the Inter-American Development Bank, a key financial institution for the region and one of its most coveted jobs.
Finance ministers and other officials of nations belonging to the IDB, as the Washington-based lender is known, are set to interview the candidates virtually on Sunday after a 45-day window for nominations officially closed Friday night. They will then converge to the bank’s headquarters, where a final decision will be made on November 20. The winner needs a majority of the IDB’s voting share and backing from more than half of a group of 28 nations that includes the bank’s borrowers, the US and Canada.
The process advances after a late bid by members of the transition team of Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to convince other countries to delay the vote until he takes office in January proved unsuccessful.
Here are the five candidates officially nominated:
Mexico: Gerardo Esquivel
Esquivel is set to complete his term as deputy governor at Mexico’s Central Bank. He previously was a key economic adviser for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Esquivel holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University and was a researcher at the IDB, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as a university professor.
Brazil: Ilan Goldfajn
Goldfajn is the current Western Hemisphere director at the IMF. He previously served as president of Brazil’s Central Bank. His career also includes time as chief economist at Itau Unibanco, a professor at universities in the US and Brazil, an earlier stint at the IMF and work at private financial firms. He has a Ph.D in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chile: Nicolás Eyzaguirre
Eyzaguirre served as Chile’s finance minister from 2000 to 2006 under president Ricardo Lagos and in the Cabinet of Michelle Bachelet as education minister before returning to the Finance Ministry. Eyzaguirre also has PhD in economics from Harvard.
Argentina: Cecilia Todesca Bocco
Todesca Bocco is Argentina’s secretary of international economic relations at the Foreign Affairs Ministry and was previously deputy Cabinet chief for President Alberto Fernández. The only woman in the race, she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Buenos Aires with a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. She also worked previously at the IMF, Argentina’s Central Bank and Standard & Poor’s in New York.
Trinidad and Tobago: Gerard Johnson
Johnson is a former longtime IDB country representative and manager, leading programmes in Haiti, Guatemala and Jamaica and overseeing the bank’s Caribbean programme. He currently works as a consultant to the Jamaican Finance Ministry. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University in Washington and a master’s degree in economics from University of Kent, Canterbury in the UK.
by Eric Martin, Bloomberg