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. 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lewis Preston

    September 1991 - May 1995
    Distinguished commercial banker. Created a client-oriented vision for the Bank as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
  • 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.
  • Alden Winship Clausen

    July 1981 - June 1986
    Improved the financial management of the Bank. Wrestled with the onset of recession and the 1980s debt.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • John Jay McCloy

    March 1947 - June 1949
    Started up the Bank's business and lifted its vision from reconstruction to development.
  • Eugene Meyer

    June 1946 - December 1946
    Laid the groundwork for lasting Bank business policies.