Will Bono run the World Bank? U.S. Treasury secretary says he wouldn't rule out including the rocker and debt-relief activist on the short list of candidates to run the institution

By Gary Susman
Updated March 07, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Credit: Bono: Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty

Most moonlighting pop stars are content to take second jobs as actors or fashion designers. But Bono may be up for a second job with a little more consequence: heading the World Bank. U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow told the Associated Press that he wouldn’t rule out including the U2 frontman on the short list for candidates to run the development-funding institution after its current president steps down in June.

Bono has spent much of the past few years as an activist working to aid development in Third World countries by lobbying for debt relief and AIDS care. For those efforts, he’s already earned a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. He’s also earned the admiration of two Bush Administration Treasury secretaries: first-term money chief Paul O’Neill, and now, Snow, who’s helping find a successor to World Bank president James Wolfensohn, who’s stepping down June 1.

The World Bank presidency tends to go to Americans, since the United States is the bank’s largest member. Still, Snow had words of praise for the Irish rocker. ”Most people know him as a rock star. He’s in a way a rock star of the development world, too. He understands the give-and-take of development. He’s a very pragmatic, effective and idealistic person,” Snow said. As for Bono’s likelihood of getting the job, Snow said, ”I am not going to review here all the candidates that are on the list. But I will attest to my admiration for Bono.”