The Bank said it expected to select its new president "by consensus"
The World Bank announced three candidates to succeed outgoing president Robert Zoellick in the first challenge to the US monopoly of the top job in history.
Well-known economists from
Colombia and Nigeria were nominated to contend with the US candidate, a Korea-born, US-raised physician known for fighting to bring medical services to impoverished communities around the world.
The three were American nominee Jim Yong Kim, currently president of Dartmouth College; Colombian Jose Antonio Ocampo, a professor at Columbia University; and Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The announcement launched an unprecedented competition to lead the 187-nation development lender, with the Bank's executive board to interview the three candidates in the coming weeks.
The Bank said it expected to select its new president "by consensus" by its 2012 Spring Meetings with the International Monetary Fund that begin on April 20.
Zoellick plans to step down at the end of his term in June.
In a Rose Garden news conference at the White House on Friday, US President Barack Obama unveiled Kim as Washington's nominee, a physician who has worked for decades in global health issues.