IFI governance


Open letter to all Governors of the International Monetary Fund

23 May 2011 | Letters

23 May 2011

Dear Governors

Appointment of IMF Managing Director

Because of the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF Managing Director, we are writing to urge you to push for the selection of the best candidate through an open, merit-based, transparent process, and the public support of the majority of the IMF membership, including developing countries. 

As you know, in 2009, the IMFC agreed to “adopt an open, merit-based and transparent process for the selection of IMF management.” This underscored previous commitments by the G20, and, if implemented, would mark a vitally important break with past practice. To ensure the selection of the best candidate with the legitimacy gained from the support of the wider IMF membership, not just a powerful minority of countries, we believe three things are essential.

First, the candidate must gain the open support from at least the majority of IMF member countries, with no single bloc wielding excessive power. The best way to ensure this is for the winner to be required to gain the support of a majority of both voting shares and member countries.  This need not require any formal changes to the IMF articles of agreement, but could simply be announced by the IMFC.  To make this work, countries would need to vote independently, not through their constituencies, and declare their support publicly. We cannot afford to let traditional back-room deals install a candidate supported by only the richest countries. European countries should state openly that they do not intend to agree upon a single candidate, with each country waiting until after the final nominations are closed before declaring support.

Second, the selection process needs to be significantly strengthened. This should include having a public application procedure open to anyone to apply, and sufficient time to allow proper deliberation, interviews held in public, and open voting procedures. 

Third, a clear job description and qualifications should be set out, building on the short version outlined in 2007.  The right candidate needs to be – and be seen to be – independent, and able to work with a variety of stakeholders, including civil society groups. Given that developing countries are a majority of IMF members, and where the overwhelming majority of IMF lending and advice has been directed in recent decades, the new MD will need to be well versed in the particular problems of low- and middle-income countries. A focus on the key global economic problems of poverty, growing levels of inequality and joblessness will be essential.

The IMF needs serious and genuine reform. The selection of the new Managing Director is an essential place to start. We trust that you will take a leading role to ensure that promises for reform are honoured.

Yours sincerely


Endorsed by the following:

  1. 11.11.11
  2. ActionAid International
  3. Advocacy International
  4. Africa Jubilee South
  5. African Forum on Alternatives
  6. African Network for Environment and Economic Justice(ANEEJ)
  7. Afrodad
  8. Alliance Sud
  9. Americans for Informed Democracy
  10. ARCADE
  11. Associação Moçambicana para o Desenvolvimento e Democracia (AMODE)
  12. Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
  13. Balance
  14. Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC)
  15. CEE Bankwatch
  16. Berne Declaration
  17. Bond
  18. Bretton Woods Project
  19. CAFOD
  20. Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
  21. Center for Public Integrity Mozambique
  22. Centre for Health Policy and Innovation
  23. Centre for Social Concern
  24. Changemaker Norway
  25. China Center for International Development
  26. Christian Aid
  27. Church of Sweden
  28. CIDSE
  29. Citizens for Global Solutions
  31. CNCD
  32. Compass
  33. Congregation of St. Basil
  34. CRBM
  35. Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center
  36. Debt and Development Coalition Ireland
  37. Diakonia
  38. Donald Sherk
  39. Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh
  40. Ethical Markets Media, LLC
  41. Eurodad
  42. Feminist Task Force
  43. Foreign Policy In Focus
  44. Forum Syd
  45. Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy (FOHRD)
  46. Franciscan Action Network
  47. Friends of the Earth US
  48. Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación
  49. Gender Action
  50. Global Network-Latin America
  51. Halifax Initiative
  52. Health Poverty Action
  53. HOPE-Pk
  54. Idasa – Economic Governance Programme (EGP)
  55. Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas (Ibase)
  56. IBIS
  57. IBON International
  58. ILSA – Instituto Latinoamericano por una sociedad y un derecho alternativo
  59. INHURED International
  60. INKOTA-netzwerk
  61. Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC)
  62. International Institute for Monetary Transformation
  63. International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID)
  64. ITeM
  65. James H. Mittelman
  66. Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)
  67. José Antonio Ocampo
  68. Jubilee Australia
  69. Jubilee Debt Campaign
  70. Jubilee USA Network
  71. Just Foreign Policy
  72. KEPA
  73. Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
  74. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  75. Missionary Oblates
  76. Nabodhara
  77. National Insurance Academy
  78. New Economics Foundation
  79. New Rules for Global Finance
  80. Norwegian Church Aid
  81. ONE
  82. One World Trust
  83. Oxfam International
  84. Public Interest Research Centre
  85. Results UK
  86. Save the Children UK
  87. Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
  88. Sisters of St Francis of Assisi
  89. Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia
  90. Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield
  91. SLUG
  92. Social Justice Committee of Montreal
  93. Social Watch
  94. Tax Research LLP
  95. The Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development
  96. Third World Network
  97. Tiri
  98. Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) Ghana
  99. Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
  100. TWN Africa
  101. Unnayan Onneshan
  102. VOICE Bangladesh
  103. WEED
  104. World Development Movement
  105. World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy