Selecting the IMF Boss

Dear colleagues,

No doubt many of you have read about the arrest of  Dominique Strauss-Kahn(DSK), Managing Director of the IMF here in New York City  (NYC) for the alleged rape of an African immigrant woman working as a chamber maid at a NYC hotel. Without running to pass judgment here — let us let the  US justice system handle the legal and for now let the columnists handle the  commentary (NY Times IMF
Faces a Question of Identity
& Maureen Dowd on DSK) — we can, however, say that the  IMF has been rocked yet again with leadership crises and credibility issues.

What this has created is a possible opening for a fairer look at the selection of an interim or future top leadership position. Potentials nominees from  emerging economies are lining up. The Bretton Woods Project has initiated a  letter signing process to demand a more transparent and fairer process for
selecting the next IMF managing director.

Please also see the info sheet, “Heading for the Right Choice: A Professional  Approach to Selecting the IMF Boss” which calls for, among other points,  “ensuring a proper equal opportunities statement and process, and  encouraging women candidates to apply,…”

Please see details below and send endorsements to Jesse Griffiths by Sunday, May 22nd.
This is certainly an initiative the FTF can support. Please pass on to your constituents.


Rosa Lizarde, Global Coordinator


Hi all (apols for x-postings)

Now that the IMF boss is in jail, the fight for who will lead this powerful institution is back on (check out for more info.) Below  are the organisations who have signed on to the attached one page letter demanding a proper process for selecting the next IMF MD. If you want to add your organisation’s name to this letter, please let Jesse Griffiths know ASAP –  no later than close this Sunday 22nd May.

Communicate your organisational sign-on to

— Jesse Griffiths (jgriffiths_at _ www.brettonwoodsproject/imfboss


Open letter to all Governors of the  International Monetary Fund


Dear Governors

Appointment of IMF Managing Director

The early resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF Managing Director presents a vital opportunity. We are writing to urge you to push for the selection of the best candidate through an open, merit-based, transparent process, and the public support of the majority of the IMF membership, including developing countries. As you know, in 2009, the IMFC agreed to “adopt an open, merit-based and transparent process for the selection of IMF management.”  This underscored previous commitments by the G20, and, if implemented, would  mark a vitally important break with past practice. To ensure the selection of the best candidate with the legitimacy gained from the support of the wider IMF membership, not just a powerful minority of countries, we believe three things
are essential.

First, the candidate must gain the open support from at least the majority of IMF member countries, with no single bloc wielding excessive power. The best way to ensure this is for the winner to be required
to gain the support of a majority of both voting shares and member countries.  This need not require any formal changes to the IMF articles of agreement, but  could simply be announced by the IMFC. To make this work, countries would need  to vote independently, not through their constituencies, and declare their  support publicly. We cannot afford to let traditional back-room deals install a
candidate supported by only the richest countries. European countries should  state openly that they do not intend to agree upon a single candidate, with each country waiting until after the final nominations are closed before declaring support.

Second, the selection process needs to be significantly strengthened. This should include having a public application procedure open to anyone to apply, and sufficient time to allow proper deliberation, interviews held in public, and open voting procedures.

Third, a clear job description and qualifications should be set out, building on the short version outlined in 2007. The right candidate needs to be – and be seen to be – independent, and able to work with
a variety of stakeholders, including civil society groups. Given that developing countries are a majority of IMF members, and where the overwhelming majority of IMF lending and advice has been directed in recent decades, the new MD will need to well versed in the particular problems of low- and middle-income countries. A focus on the key global economic problems of poverty, growing
levels of inequality and joblessness will be essential.The IMF needs serious and genuine reform. The selection of the new Managing Director is an essential place to start. We trust that you will take a leading role to ensure that promises for reform are honoured.

Yours sincerely


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