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World Bank presidential nominee Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria was educated at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.YURI GRIPAS

Jim Yong Kim (United States)

An anthropologist and physician, Dr. Kim emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea with his family when he was 5, settling in Iowa. He was quarterback of his high school's football team, school president and valedictorian. Dr. Kim, 52, co-founded Partners in Health, a non-profit agency that works in poorer countries, and ran the World Health Organization's HIV-AIDS program. One of his WHO initiatives successfully treated three million AIDS patients in 2005.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria)

Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, 57, is a star on the international economic scene, wearing the bright dresses of her homeland the way her predominantly male counterparts sport dark suits. As a girl, she fetched water from a stream and dodged bullets during episodes of civil strife. But she went on to earn an Ivy League education at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently Nigeria's finance minister, she worked many years as an economist at the World Bank, rising to the position of managing director.

Jose Antonio Ocampo (Colombia)

Mr. Ocampo's attempt to be World Bank president became emblematic of the political tradeoffs that ultimately decide the job. Mr. Ocampo, who withdrew from the race Friday, failed to win the support of his home government, which reportedly was concentrating its efforts on winning a different international post. The 59-year-old was highly qualified for the job. A respected development expert at Columbia University in New York, Mr. Ocampo previously was Colombia's finance minister. He also held senior positions at the United Nations.

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