US nominee Jim Yong Kim has been chosen as the new president of the World Bank.The Korean-American health expert is currently the president of Dartmouth University.
He faced a strong challenge for the post, which has traditionally gone to an American, from Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Dr Kim will succeed Robert Zoellick, serving a five-year term beginning on 1 July, the World Bank said in a statement.
Aged 52, Jim Jong Kim is a doctor lauded for his pioneering role in treating HIV/Aids and reducing the impact of tuberculosis in the developing world.
The bank hailed the selection process as competitive, saying that the challenge posed by Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, as well as by Colombian candidate Jose Antonio Ocampi, would benefit the institution in the long-run.
The three candidacies "enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of the World Bank Group's future direction" the World Bank said.
By convention, the US has always held the top job at the World Bank since it was founded in 1944.
The top job of its sister organisation, the International Monetary Fund, has also always gone to a European but there has been much pressure from emerging economies to open the processes of both organisations to competition.