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Wolfowitz Confirmed as World Bank President

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2005 – Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz won confirmation today as the 10th president of the World Bank and will assume his new post June 1, World Bank officials announced today.

The World Bank's board of executive directors unanimously confirmed the nomination. Wolfowitz will succeed James D. Wolfensohn, whose third five-year term leading the World Bank expires May 31.

Wolfowitz called it "humbling" to be entrusted with the institution's leadership and said he looked forward to the opportunity to being a part of the World Bank's "noble mission" of "helping the poorest of the world to lift themselves out of poverty."

"I deeply believe in that mission," the deputy secretary said. "Nothing is more gratifying than being able to help people in need and developing opportunities for all the people of the world to achieve their full potential."

Wolfensohn praised the choice of Wolfowitz as his successor, calling him "a person of immense talent and high intellect" who he said will be "an extremely dedicated and strong leader of the bank."

During a March 18 Pentagon town hall meeting, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that in losing his deputy, "I will have lost a superb partner and a good friend who has served this department with such enormous skill and thoughtfulness." Wolfowitz has served as the Pentagon's No. 2 official since March 2001.

But until Wolfowitz actually assumes his new post, Rumsfeld joked, "We're going to keep piling the work on until he leaves."

President Bush announced Wolfowitz as his choice to lead the World Bank March 16.

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Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz

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