1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433 USA

Past Presidents

Between 1946 and 2012, the World Bank evolved into five institutions and became the World Bank Group. During that period, 11 individuals held the office of President. 

  • Zoellick

    Robert B. Zoellick

    July 2007 - June 2012

    Mr. Zoellick modernized and recapitalized the Bank, ramping up its crisis response and making it more accountable, flexible, fast-moving, transparent, and focused on good governance and anti-corruption.  Read more »

  • Wolfowitz

    Paul Wolfowitz

    June 2005 - June 2007

    Known as a good governance banker who pushed through controversial governance and anti-corruption strategy after extensive global consultations. Placed Africa at the heart of the Bank's poverty reduction agenda.  Read more »

  • Wolfensohn

    James D. Wolfensohn

    June 1995 - May 2005

    Known as the "Renaissance Banker." Pushed through reforms that have made the Bank more inclusive, with a renewed focus on poverty reduction.  Read more »

  • Preston

    Lewis Preston

    September 1991 - May 1995

    Distinguished commercial banker. Created a client-oriented vision for the Bank as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.  Read more »

  • Conable

    Barber Conable

    July 1986 - August 1991

    Spurred on the "greening" of the Bank. "...became effective spokesman for the Bank and persuasively advanced the institution's reform agenda." - Banker's with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946-91, J. Kraske, 1996.  Read more »

  • Clausen

    Alden Winship Clausen

    July 1981 - June 1986

    Improved the financial management of the Bank. Wrestled with the onset of recession and the 1980s debt.  Read more »

  • McNamara

    Robert Strange McNamara

    April 1968 - June 1981

    Expansionist with a social consciousness. "...indefatigable builder and wielder of influence on behalf of the Bank and the development cause." - Banker's with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946-91, J. Kraske, 1996.  Read more »

  • Woods

    George David Woods

    January 1963 - March 1968

    "...credited with a great vision for the Bank and a number of bold innovations." - The World Bank: Its First Half Century, Brookings Institution 1997  Read more »

  • Black

    Eugene Robert Black

    July 1949 - December 1962

    Built a solid financial foundation and led the Bank into an era of financial diplomacy. Much-admired chairman of the Board and popular CEO.  Read more »

  • McCloy

    John Jay McCloy

    March 1947 - June 1949

    Started up the Bank's business and lifted its vision from reconstruction to development.  Read more »

  • Meyer

    Eugene Meyer

    June 1946 - December 1946

    Laid the groundwork for lasting Bank business policies.  Read more »