|How is the World Bank Group Organized?
The World Bank Group consists of five closely associated institutions, all owned by member countries. Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards. The World Bank pursues its work through vice presidential units (VPUs) that focus on a particular region or sector to fight poverty and encourage economic development.
|All Vice Presidential Units|
Who Runs the World Bank Group?
The World Bank is run like a cooperative, with its member countries as shareholders. The number of shares a country has is based roughly on the size of its economy. The United States is the largest single shareholder, with 16.41 percent of votes, followed by Japan (7.87 percent), Germany (4.49 percent), the United Kingdom (4.31 percent), and France (4.31 percent). The rest of the shares are divided among the other member countries.
Ultimate Decision-Making Authority
The World Bank's government shareholders are represented by a Board of Governors. Generally, these governors are ministers, such as Ministers of Finance or Ministers of Development. The governors are the ultimate policy makers in the World Bank. They meet once a year at the Bank's Annual Meetings.
Day-to-Day Decision Making
Because these ministers meet only once a year, they delegate specific duties to their Executive Directors, who work onsite at the Bank. Every member government of the World Bank Group is represented by an Executive Director. The five largest shareholders-France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States-appoint an Executive Director, while other member countries are represented by 19 Executive Directors.
Office of the President
The Bank's president is, by tradition, a national of the largest shareholder, the United States. Elected for a five-year renewable term, the president of the World Bank chairs meetings of the Board of Directors and is responsible for overall management of the Bank. The current president of the World Bank Group is Mr. James D. Wolfensohn who has been president since 1995.
The Bank employs approximately 9,300 people, including economists, educators, environmental scientists, financial analysts, anthropologists, engineers, and many others. Employees come from about 160 different countries, and over 3,000 staff work in country offices.