I wish to extend to you my most sincere congratulations for your appointment as World Bank Chief Economist and I am certain we will all benefit immensely from your presence among us.
Though I feel that we need always to have one foot firmly placed on each of our development pillars, I very much welcome your “plan to focus more on the second goal, that is, social inclusion,” as inclusion is exactly why I want to make the following comment.
When the search for a new Chief Economist for the World Bank was announced we were told that although it was obviously quite a delicate task, it should not take too long, as the search had to be carried out within “quite a small and exclusive community of development economists.”
As I am certain you realize, that characterization illustrates in itself one of the many daunting challenges we face in the WBG. I beg you, in parallel to your many other responsibilities, to dedicate some time to the challenge of developing that small-and-exclusive-community, so that perhaps in a couple of generations, the Bank could choose one of your successors from a larger and more diversified group—even though that would mean a somewhat more extended search. Again, very much welcome, do count on our support and I wish you a very heartfelt good luck.
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Extract from Voice and Noise 2006