Jim Kim: World Bank President, Astronaut Rapper

I’ll admit it, I’m a biased, pro-Jim Kim groupie.

Ever since I sat in on a Harvard class with Kim and Paul Farmer in which they recounted stories about treating people with drug resistant tuberculosis in Peru and in Russian prisons, the historical factors driving HIV/AIDS in Haiti in those early years, the gritty mechanics of health care delivery and the deep connections between poverty and disease, I’ve been awed by their incredible dedication to the idea that health is a human right. It’s impossible not to be.

So it’s pretty cool that Kim was elected Monday as the World Bank’s next president.

But Kim does have a lighter side: See him as a rapping astronaut here on YouTube.

Here’s more on his global health accomplishments from the folks at Partners In Health, the international health non-profit Kim co-founded 25 years ago:

“I can think of no one better able than Jim to help families, communities, and entire nations break out of poverty, which is the mandate of the World Bank,” said PIH co-founder and Harvard University Professor, Dr. Paul Farmer.

As a physician and medical anthropologist, Dr. Kim’s mission to serve the poor has led him from Haiti to Peru to Lesotho and beyond for nearly three decades. He and Paul Farmer met as medical students at Harvard and joined with Ophelia Dahl, Thomas J. White, and Todd McCormack in 1987 to found Partners In Health.

Since then, Dr. Kim has carried that mission with him as his career has taken him to leadership positions at the World Health Organization, Harvard University, and Dartmouth College. And now he’ll take it with him to the World Bank.

“Having had the good fortune to train with Jim at Harvard, and to see him work in settings from inner-city Boston to the slums of Peru, from Haiti to Rwanda to the prisons of Siberia, I know that for three decades Jim has committed himself to breaking the cycle of poverty and disease,” said Farmer.

Dr. Kim has served as president of Dartmouth College since 2009. Prior to that he headed the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. From 2004 to 2006, he headed the HIV/AIDS Department at the World Health Organization.

“As the President of the World Bank, Jim will play a powerful and influential role in giving the world’s poorest communities access to quality health care– work to which we committed ourselves when we founded Partners In Health” said PIH co-founder and Executive Director, Ophelia Dahl. “At PIH, we believe that health is a human right. We’ve fought for years to deliver high-quality health care to the poor and vulnerable across the globe. Jim’s election as president of the World Bank is a victory for those we seek to serve and all who would do this work.”

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