IMF to embark on PR push with naming of new head

WASHINGTON, DC: With the departure of International Monetary Fund managing director Michel Camdessus last week, a new era may well be dawning for the institution PR-wise.

WASHINGTON, DC: With the departure of International Monetary Fund managing director Michel Camdessus last week, a new era may well be dawning for the institution PR-wise.

WASHINGTON, DC: With the departure of International Monetary Fund

managing director Michel Camdessus last week, a new era may well be

dawning for the institution PR-wise.



The sole declared candidate to succeed Camdessus, former World Bank

official Caio Koch-Weser, has suggested that the IMF’s own problems stem

less from its actual work than from its image as being ’a very

contentious institution, particularly in the US.’ He has emphasized the

IMF’s need for better PR - a process, he modestly believes must begin

with the managing director, who should act in much the same vein as a

CEO.



His election, however, is not a sure thing. The IMF’s 24-member

executive board, representing the interests of the 182 member countries,

will decide who succeeds Camdessus.



During a recent address before the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

at George-town University’s School of Foreign Service, Camdessus

admitted that the IMF’s PR has been lacking. ’We are not seen to be

accountable, and some of our member governments from time to time find

it convenient not to express their public support,’ he said.



American Enterprise Institute public opinion analyst Karlyn Bowman

believes most Americans lack in-depth familiarity with the IMF but

generally favor a ’tight-fisted’ approach to foreign aid. Added 50 Years

is Enough policy analyst (and frequent IMF critic) Soren Ambrose, ’To

the extent that it’s known, the IMF is not highly regarded.’



The left criticizes IMF monetary policies for reducing funding for human

needs, while conservatives charge the institution is not accountable for

its actions and often makes bad loans. But most Congressmen support the

group, if not always with great enthusiasm.



The IMF is not going on its image push alone. The McLean, VA-based

Wirthlin Group conducted a global image survey for the IMF’s external

affairs department, while Edelman’s DC outpost presented suggestions to

the organization’s executive board on ways to upgrade PR. The results of

the survey and the recommendations, however, have not been revealed to

the public.



The change in leadership should coincide with the issuance of the

International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission’s report

recommending reforms for the IMF.



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