What to expect from IDB’s leadership?

BIC and the endorsing organizations commend the decision of the Board of Governors to follow the unanimous recommendation of the Board of Directors and swiftly remove Mr. Claver-Carone. As the IDB navigates the leadership transition, we raise some points regarding leadership, the upcoming selection process for the next IDB president, and the opportunities for the new IDB president to shape the progress of the institution for years to come.

In response to credible findings of serious ethics violations, the IDB’s Board of Governors yesterday resolved to remove the Institution’s President, Mauricio Claver-Carone, from his position, effective immediately. This decision by the Board of Governors followed a months long ethics investigation which found credible evidence that Claver-Carone had not only engaged in an intimate relationship with a subordinate, but also created a hostile work environment with staff who participated in the investigation expressing fear of retaliation. BIC and the endorsing organizations commend the decision of the Board of Governors to follow the unanimous recommendation of the Board of Directors and swiftly remove Mr. Claver-Carone. 

As the IDB navigates this leadership transition, we raise the following points:

  1. The investigation demonstrates that Claver-Carone was not fit to lead the region’s most prominent development finance institution. As a result of his poor leadership and creation of a climate of fear amongst staff, Claver-Carone not only eroded the confidence of IDB staff and shareholders but also undermined the institution’s ability to implement its development mandate. The IDB President must lead by example and hold themselves to the highest ethical standards in order to credibly insist on holding the institution’s borrowers to high standards.
  2. We believe the selection process for the next IDB President needs to be  transparent and merit based. The IDB must develop a clear job description with qualifications set forth at the outset of the process. The selection process should be transparent, with the IDB’s board communicating regularly with stakeholders on the progress of the selection process and the criteria used to select from among those candidates. In developing the selection criteria, the Board must prioritize identifying candidates who can restore trust in the institution and then must select the person best qualified to lead the institution, as evidenced by strong development experience and a community centered approach.
  3. The next IDB president should take advantage of this unique opportunity to promote a cultural shift within the institution. This should include opening space for civil society and project-affected peoples to engage with all levels of the institution, recognizing the important role they play in guaranteeing that IDB Group-sponsored development benefits, and does not harm, people and the environment. The new IDB should foster an institutional culture, whereby the organization accepts that it makes mistakes and is receptive to its internal accountability mechanisms and to interaction and constructive criticism from external stakeholders. The next IDB president has the opportunity to spearhead this shift to a stronger, more accountable, and more effective IDB which delivers on its commitments to enhance sustainable development throughout the region.

For more information on what the next IDB president should prioritize, please read here.

Other endorsing organizations: Plataforma Internacional contra la Impunidad, Protection International Mesoamérica, Accountability Counsel, AMATE El Salvador, International Rivers Brazil, Gender Action, Oxfam, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), ECOA- Ecologia e Ação Brazil, Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR), and Unión de Talleres 11 de Septiembre Bolivia.