Kim, appointed twice by former US President Barack Obama for five-year terms, had pushed financing for green energy projects and largely dropped support for coal power investments, but had avoided publiclashes with the Trump administration, which has made reviving the U.S. coal sector a priority.
Just last month, the World Bank announced it would double its investments to fight climate change to around $200 billion over the next five years.
Kim told World Bank employees in an email that he was leaving the world’s largest lender and donor to poor and middle-income countries on February 1 to join a private-sector firm focused on infrastructure investments in the developing world.
“The opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I’ve concluded that this is the path through which I will be able to make the largest impact on major global issues like climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets,” Kim said.
Kim said details about his new job would be released later. The physician and former Dartmouth College president said he would also rejoin the board of Partners in Health, a health advocacy group he co-founded 30 years ago.