Washington, D.C. Robert Zoellick, a seasoned player in international financial and diplomatic circles, won the unanimous approval of the World Bank's board on Monday to become the poverty-fighting institution's next president.
Zoellick will succeed Paul Wolfowitz, whose last day is Saturday, ending a stormy two-year tenure. The new president will take the reins Sunday, the first day of his five-year term.
Wolfowitz courted controversy from the start because of his role in the Iraq war when he was deputy defense secretary. However, it was his role in arranging a hefty pay raise for Shaha Riza, his girlfriend and bank employee, that forced his upcoming departure. That prompted a staff revolt and calls by Europeans and others for Wolfowitz to resign.
Zoellick, 53, brings to the World Bank years of experience in the foreign and economic policy arenas under three Republican presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan. Zoellick left the current Bush administration last year to become an executive at the Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs.