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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Official: Bush to nominate Zoellick as head of World Bank
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush plans to nominate former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick to replace Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, a senior administration official told CNN Tuesday.

Zoellick, 53, also served as U.S. trade representative from 2001 until 2005. He was the State Department's No. 2 official until June 2006, when he resigned, saying he planned to join the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs.

As the World Bank's largest shareholder, the United States appoints its president. Zoellick's nomination must be approved by the 24 executive directors of the World Bank, a 184-nation development bank.

Wolfowitz resigned earlier this month after weeks of controversy over his handling of a pay package for his girlfriend, a World Bank employee.

The matter deeply divided the bank's board, with one bank official telling CNN there were questions regarding whether the United States should choose Wolfowitz's successor.

During his tenure as U.S. trade representative, Zoellick was credited with bringing China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization, as well as developing a strategy to launch new global trade negotiations at the WTO meeting in Doha and pressing those negotiations forward, according to his biography posted on the White House Web site.

At the State Department, he was credited with being the Bush administration's top official on Sudan, where he helped craft an agreement aimed at ending fighting between the country's north and south. He also participated in negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and in the launch of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group, the White House said.

Before he took the trade representative post in 2001, Zoellick served at the State Department in various positions. In 1992, he was appointed White House Deputy chief of staff and assistant to the president, according to the White House.

But he left government service in 1993 to serve as executive vice president at Fannie Mae, where he managed the company's affordable housing interests.
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