Photo: Mauricio Claver-Carone, former president of the Inter-American Development Bank, addresses a conference on regional economic growth in November 2021. Source: Isabel Infantes/Europa Press via Getty Images.
On Monday, the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) voted to terminate President Mauricio Claver-Carone, after the IDB’s 14-member executive board unanimously recommended his firing. Claver-Carone’s termination came as a result of an ethics investigation that found that the bank’s first U.S. president had an intimate relationship with a senior staffer and made employment decisions for the staffer, including salary increases totaling over 45 percent of base pay in less than a year. Investigators also found that Claver-Carone created a hostile work environment, as numerous staff members expressed fear of reprisal over their participation in the probe. Claver-Carone, who assumed office in October 2020 after he was nominated to a five-year term by then-President Donald Trump, denies the relationship with the aide and says he will seek legal action against the bank for breach of contract and defamation.
Executive Vice President Reina Irene Mejía Chacón will act as interim president of the bank until its Board of Governors elects a successor. On Wednesday, the IDB asked its governors to nominate candidates within the next 45 days. Under IDB rules, successful candidates must win majority support based on members’ capital stock balance and votes from 15 of the 28 governors. On Thursday, Mexico became the first country to publicly announce its participation after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador nominated Alicia Bárcena, the former chief of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Other potential nominees include former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla and former president of Argentina’s central bank Mercedes Marcos del Pont.