The Brazilian economist Ilan Goldfajn was elected this Sunday as the new president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), for a period of five years, during an Extraordinary Meeting of the Board of Governors of the entity held in Washington, with virtual and face-to-face attendance of the delegations, as reported by the agency in a statement.
Goldfajn, former president of the Central Bank of Brazil and current director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was elected after a decisive agreement between the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina, which withdrew the candidacy of Cecilia Todesca , and negotiated to keep three positions in the new administration: the Vice Presidency of Sectors, the Infrastructure Management and a new Institute of Gender and Equality. Goldfajn’s nomination had been made by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and was not objected to by the president-elect, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva.
The IDB noted that Goldfajn will manage the operations and administration of the bank, which works with the public sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, he will chair the Executive Board of the IDB and the Executive Board of IDB Invest, which works with the private sector in the region. The start date of his functions is scheduled for December 19 of this year.
Goldfajn received 80 percent of the vote, compared to 9.9 percent for Nicolás Eyzaguirre of Chile, 8.2 percent for Gerardo Esquivel of Mexico, and 1.6 percent for Gerard Johnson of Trinidad and Tobago. . Goldfajn also received the backing of 17 governments, more than the 15 needed to win, from a 28-nation group that includes the bank’s regional borrowers plus the US and Canada.
Support from President Joe Biden’s administration was critical, with the United States controlling 30 percent of the bank’s voting shares, nearly triple the amount held by second-place Brazil and Argentina. The five candidates interviewed for the position with representatives of IDB member governments, giving presentations and answering questions, a week ago.
The IDB is the main source of financing for the development of Latin America and the Caribbean through loans, donations and technical assistance; and also conducts extensive research, prioritizing social inclusion and equality, productivity and innovation, and regional economic integration in its development work throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Goldfajn, former president of the Central Bank of Brazil and current director of the Department for the Western Hemisphere of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was proposed by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, and his candidacy was validated by the president-elect, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva.
Goldfajn said his priorities for the institution will be to “fight inequality and improve food production and supply; build the resilience of nations to the impacts of climate change and help fossil fuel producers make a responsible transition to renewable fuels; and investing in physical and digital infrastructure to attract private capital and innovation.
The new president of the IDB will replace the American Mauricio Claver-Carone, dismissed on September 26 by the Board of Governors, after an investigation concluded that he granted favorable treatment to a subordinate with whom he had a sentimental relationship.
Goldfajn will be the seventh president of the IDB. They are followed by Reina Irene Mejía Chacón ai (2022); Mauricio Claver-Carone (2020-2022); Luis Alberto Moreno (2005-2020); Enrique V. Iglesias (1988-2005); Antonio Ortiz Mena (1971-1988); and Felipe Herrera (1960-1971).