Movers and Shakers

By Brian P. Watson Print this article Print

To provide technical assistance and developmental knowledge to fight poverty and disease, the World Bank first had to overhaul its antiquated I.T. system and build a global network.

Movers and Shakers


Robert B. Zoellick
World Bank President

In June, Zoellick was chosen to succeed Paul Wolfowitz as the 11th president of the World Bank for a five-year term. Like Wolfowitz, he served in the Bush administration; from 2001 to 2005, Zoellick was deputy secretary of state. At the time of his appointment to the bank, Zoellick was vice chairman, international of Goldman Sachs Group, and a managing director and chairman of Goldman Sachs' Board of International Advisors.

Guy-Pierre De Poerck
CIO and Vice President

Formerly the bank's senior manager, development and informatics, De Poerck replaced Mohamed Muhsin as CIO and vice president. Since taking over as CIO, De Poerck has maintained a lower profile than his highly visible predecessor.

Philippe Dongier
Manager, Global ICT Department, Public Sector Policy and Operations Division

A McKinsey & Co. alumnus, Dongier joined the bank in 1998. He has played a range of leadership roles in the infrastructure and sustainable development sectors, and worked on operations and analytical work in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Dongier managed the bank's support of Afghanistan's reconstruction, and led an initiative on strengthening the bank's organizational effectiveness. He recently authored a World Bank report, "Infrastructure: Lessons from the Last Two Decades of World Bank Engagement." At present, he is leading the bank's $424 million Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Program on East and Southern Africa.


Paul Wolfowitz
World Bank President (2005-2007)

A major architect of the Bush administration's Iraq policy and former deputy secretary of defense, Wolfowitz was named the World Bank's president in June 2005. He identified sub-Saharan Africa as the region most challenged to improve living standards, while making clear his intention to fight corruption within the bank. Ironically, he resigned his post, effective June 30, after an internal panel tasked with investigating the lucrative pay and promotion package Wolfowitz arranged in 2005 for his partner, Shaha Riza, found him guilty of breaking bank rules.

James Wolfensohn
World Bank President (1995-2005)

Wolfensohn orchestrated the decentralization of the bank; he realized the value of using I.T. and a global network to extend the bank's reach and transform it into a "knowledge bank." He is generally viewed as one of the bank's most effective presidents. He now runs his own investment company in New York.

Mohamed Muhsin
Former World Bank CIO and Vice President

Muhsin was the bank's first-ever CIO; his mandate was to revamp the bank's outdated and disorganized I.T. structure, and build its global network. After Muhsin retired in November 2005, The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report ran stories claiming that he had taken stock from one of the bank's vendors—charges Muhsin's lawyer vehemently denies. Currently, he is a management consultant and serves on several corporate boards.

Stephen Denning
Former Program Director, Knowledge Management

Denning was the original head of the bank's knowledge management program and worked under Muhsin. "We needed to make knowledge at least as important as lending," he says. Denning, however, encountered stiff resistance from the bank's old guard and left a year after the knowledge management group was moved from I.T.'s oversight to operations. Denning now works as a Washington, D.C.-based knowledge management consultant.

Next Page: By the Numbers: the World Bank's Key Resources

This article was originally published on 2007-08-05
Associate Editor

Brian joined Baseline in March 2006. In addition to previous stints at Inter@ctive Week and The Net Economy, he's written for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as The Sunday Tribune in Dublin, Ireland. Brian has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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