Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, is the front-runner to run the World Bank raises a question: if Mr. Kim leaves Dartmouth, who will replace him?
Potential candidates to lead Dartmouth are two of its most famous alumni who appear on our site from time to time — Timothy F. Geithner and Henry M. Paulson Jr.
Mr. Geithner, class of ’83, is perhaps the more compelling possibility. After more than three grueling years as Treasury secretary — and five years before that as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — Mr. Geithner has made it clear that he will leave the administration after President Obama‘s first term. So where might he go next?
President Obama, flanked by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, right, as he introduces the Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim, left, yesterday.
As he stood by Mr. Kim’s side in the Rose Garden nomination ceremony on Friday morning, we suspect that the potential opening at Dartmouth might have crossed his mind.
He could, of course, take a job at a Wall Street firm, but after helping steer the economy through the global financial crisis, he might want a change of pace. Plus, he has never worked at a commercial bank. He is a career civil servant with something of an academic bearing. In addition to his Dartmouth undergraduate degree in government and Asian studies, he holds a master’s degree in international economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Mr. Geithner is also a Dartmouth legacy, having followed in the footsteps of both his father, Peter Geithner, ’54, and his paternal grandfather, Paul Geithner. His wife, Carole Sonnenfeld Geithner, is also an alumna.
Another factor that could make the Dartmouth job work for Mr. Geithner is his family situation. He has a daughter at Stanford and a son who is a high school senior. Last spring, Mr. Geithner nearly left his Treasury post to move back to New York because his son wanted to finish his last year of high school there. Instead, at the president’s request, he stayed in Washington. Next year, Mr. Geithner will have an empty nest, making the move to Hanover, N.H., less complicated.
Then there’s Mr. Paulson, ’68, who is a former football star at Dartmouth and who remains connected to the school. Mr. Paulson, Mr. Geithner’s predecessor as Treasury secretary, now lives in Chicago. There, he runs the Paulson Institute, which focuses on United States-China relations. He is also a major supporter of environmental causes and a passionate bird watcher. Dartmouth’s picturesque New England setting would seem well suited for Mr. Paulson at this stage of his career, though a demanding, full-time job might not be.