DMS renamed the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine

Dartmouth Medical School has been renamed the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in honor of Theodor Geisel ’25, better known as children’s book author Dr. Seuss, and his wife Audrey Geisel, according to a College press release.

The Geisel family’s contributions to the College and estate planning place the family as the “most significant philanthropist to Dartmouth in its history,” according to the release.

“Ted Geisel lived out the Dartmouth ethos of thinking differently and creatively to illuminate the world’s challenges and the opportunities for understanding and surmounting them,” College President Jim Yong Kim said in the release. “His vivid storytelling with its whimsical imagery, fanciful phrasing and deeper meaning lives on and raises children’s literacy around the world to new heights by entertaining, amusing and educating. Audrey and Ted Geisel have cared deeply for this institution, and we are enormously proud to announce this lasting partnership.”

Dartmouth Medical School recently jumped to 38th place from 67th place in the primary care category of the 2013 US News & World Report graduate school rankings released in March, the largest single improvement of any school. DMS also rose to 31st place in the research category, an increase from last year’s 32nd-place ranking.

The rise in the primary care and research categories marks a step toward the goals of the 20×20 strategic plan, designed to place DMS among the nation’s top 20 medical schools by 2020. Using the plan’s recommendations, which were instituted in June, DMS faculty and administrators hope to improve the school’s research program, curriculum and relationship with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The press release stated that the renaming of DMS will “amplify support for medical students as they progress on the path to becoming physicians and scientists and accelerate the research aspirations of faculty.”

Audrey Geisel, who was married to Theodor Geisel from 1968 until his death in 1991, expressed her support for the renaming of medical school in the release.

Societal constructs fall apart during ‘Carnage’

Adapted from the play “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza, “Carnage” (2011) serves as a hilariously bleak display of what happens when two sets of parents unleash their intense personalities in a Brooklyn apartment. While differing in some obvious ways from the similarly themed novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, which is set on a deserted island and features a group of young boys, “Carnage” also exemplifies the primordial instincts of humans when they are deprived of societal constructs.

Uniquely filmed in sequence, Roman Polanski’s film begins after the catalytic event has already occurred two New York City schoolchildren getting into a fight. The aggressor’s parents, Alan and Nancy (Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet), are called over to the home of the other boy’s parents, Penelope and Michael (Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly), to smooth things over in a calm and rational way. What occurs instead is a slow devolution of each person’s manners, as small slights and insults erupt into full-blown anarchy, proving the smoke-and-mirror effect of societal norms, as shown in Golding’s novel as well.

At a brisk 80 minutes, however, the film feels as if it develops its arc too fast, even for a movie in which not much seems to happen. The film’s failure at times to maintain a sequential and gradual plot is a minor complaint, however, as “Carnage” was an otherwise impressive film.

Apart from the first and last shot, “Carnage” takes place in one location and features only the four main cast members, though a few other characters enter in conversation or over the phone. Polanski employs a format often used in television shows or plays in which main characters are stuck in one location to allow for introspection and further development of their relationships. On television, the effect is known as “bottle episodes,” but it is also found in plays such as “No Exit” by Jean-Paul Sartre, “The Dumbwaiter” by Harold Pinter and, of course, “God of Carnage.” Rarely, however, is it used in full-length movies. It is perhaps a testament to the play’s success that “Carnage” accomplishes what it sets out to do so well. At the beginning, the characters are a mystery to us, but by the end, we know much more than we care to.

For a man who hasn’t set foot in the United States for over 30 years, Polanski is remarkably adept at capturing the feel of an upscale Brooklyn apartment, complete with traffic noises and the unnecessary luxury items of the bourgeois. Furthermore, he seems to understand the development and mentality of the modern American parent and, by extension, American society. Alan and Nancy represent the 1 percent utterly maligned by the modern masses, and it would be natural that their son acts as the aggressor. Penelope and Michael are the more passive couple, and with Penelope’s bleeding-heart liberalism, it makes sense that their son is the victim.

Winslet and Foster are outstanding character studies in passive-aggresiveness, with the inevitable bitch-off between the two being one of the highlights of the film. Waltz’s cool demeanor suits him as a corporate lawyer who spars with Reilly’s character, a simple door-to-door salesman. Yet, it is Reilly who is the most impressive of the cast. Known to my generation as Dale from “Stepbrothers” (2008), most people aren’t aware that Reilly started off as a dramatic actor. Here, he turns in perhaps the best performance in the film as a laidback man, a rung above a Neanderthal in the evolutionary chain. His transformation is stellar, and it shows that his forays into comedy have not diluted his talents.

“Carnage” plays tonight at 7 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium.

‘ReEntry’ bridges the gap between veterans and civilians

I sat across from Jacob Sotak ’13, vice president of the Dartmouth Undergraduate Veterans Association and a member of the Army Reserves, as he talked about leaving home eight years ago for his deployment to Afghanistan. I was interviewing him about “ReEntry,” an upcoming performance at the Hopkins Center that centers on the experiences of veterans returning home. The interview was short how do I talk to a veteran about going into battle when my experience with war extends to watching Ben Affleck in “Pearl Harbor” (2001)?

This disconnect is exactly what “ReEntry” is about. The performance, held at Moore Theater tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m., attempts to bridge this gap by conveying the experiences of servicemen and women through a series of monologues based on hundreds of hours of interviews with Marines and their families. In the style of “documentary theater,” the show features monologues by five actors who speak interview-style with the audience about experiences returning home from war. KJ Sanchez and Emily Ackerman wrote the play, taking dialogue directly from the interviews they conducted.

While reading the script, Sotak said he could empathize and identify with the emotions portrayed in the interviews. Sotak said he hopes the show will spark a discussion he sees as acutely lacking at Dartmouth. Students should learn the reality, not just the theory, of war, and he said he believes that “ReEntry” can help offer that reality. “[ReEntry’] seems like something that makes the conversation about soldiers, about veterans, about coming home, tangible for people,” he said. “I think that theater is a really great medium to have that conversation.” When Sanchez and Ackerman began to prepare “ReEntry,” they turned to their families, Ackerman said in an interview with The Dartmouth. Both women have brothers who are Marines Sanchez’s five brothers served in the Vietnam War, and Ackerman’s two brothers have completed multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. They chose to focus the performance on Marines because of the access they had to this section of the military through their brothers. They also found that each branch of the military had its own subculture and that concentrating on one allowed them to construct a more authentic picture of the stories they heard, Ackerman said.

The show originated when Sanchez was commissioned by the Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, N.J. to create a performance about coming home from war. She asked Ackerman to take on the project with her, and after its initial success Sanchez founded the American Records Theater in 2010 for the purpose of taking “ReEntry” on tour. The theater company’s mission is “to make plays, musicals and other works that chronicle our time” and “to create work about real people,” according to its website.

The performance provides a means by which family members can grapple with their feelings and learn to cope, Sanchez said. Actors have performed “ReEntry” at several military bases, and the military has even incorporated the show into some post-traumatic stress disorder briefings, according to Ackerman.

In “ReEntry,” the actors portray servicemen and women as well as family members. The original cast in 2009 included a Marine Corps drill instructor, who Ackerman says was essential to helping the actors gain an understanding of the Marines. He would lead the cast through drills, Ackerman said, and explain the importance and use of each drill. Ackerman and Sanchez’s ultimate goal was to have the actors represent the experiences of service members as accurately as possible.

The performance is decidedly apolitical, focusing instead on what men and women, deal with what they have seen and done and their experiences returning to civilian life. Sometimes telling personal stories highlights the political issues at hand, making the message all the more powerful, Ackerman said.

Members of the military often have a difficult time sharing the events of war with loved ones and desire to better relate to them, Sanchez said on a panel yesterday in Filene Auditorium, titled “Fallout: What We Think About the Military Matters.”

One focus of yesterday’s panel was the topic of “thank you” and expressing gratitude to veterans.

“We like to speak in absolutes Thank you, heroes, for your service,'” Sotak said in the panel, explaining that most veterans have mixed feelings about their service. “It’s more complicated than that.”

Another panelist in yesterday’s discussion, Nancy Sherman author of “The Untold War” said that society must think about what it means when we make a decision to send our citizens to war.

Echoeing Sherman’s remark, Sotak said that in addition to expanding conversations between veterans and civilians, we also need to have conversations with soldiers before we send them to war about what to expect in combat zones. He said he hopes students will consider “what our responsibility is as young people to think about war.”

Kuster, Bass prepare for rematch

In what have historically been highly contested elections, two Dartmouth alumni and four other experienced politicians constitute the small pool of candidates running for New Hampshire governor and 2nd Congressional District representative the district that includes Hanover in November.

The candidates have varied levels of campaign infrastructure and established campaign funds, though it is still early in the campaign season, and other politicians may decide to run in a state in which independents comprise the largest group of voters, according to government professor Linda Fowler.

Democrat Ann McLane Kuster ’78 is challenging incumbent Charlie Bass ’74, R-N.H., in the 2nd Congressional District in a rematch of the 2010 race.

“I am running again because now more than ever we need a new approach in Congress, with a focus on creating jobs and bringing people together to solve problems,” Kuster said through a campaign spokesperson.

No other democratic candidate has announced intentions to challenge Kuster in the primary.

In 2010, Bass beat Kuster by roughly 3,000 votes, or 1.5 percent, according to the clerk of the House of Representatives.

“Annie Kuster did well against Charlie Bass in a really bad year for Democrats, so I think the two house races are going to provide some juice,” Fowler said. “There’s going to be a lot of money coming into the state from the super PACs.”

In the gubernatorial race, four candidates have announced their intentions to replace governor John Lynch, who will step down at the end of this term after serving as the democratic governor since 2005.

Kevin Smith, a former state congressman, and Ovide Lamontagne, a Manchester-based attorney, will compete for the Republican nomination.

Lamontagne, who has exchanged a mutual endorsement with Bass, unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Smith said his prior legislative and executive experience set him apart from his rival for the Republican nomination.

“I’m the only one who’s offered a specific plan for how we’re going to become the most economically competitive state,” he said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “We have a higher median age than the state of Florida, and that’s a real problem because our young workers, they’re the workers of the future.”

Maggie Hassan, former majority leader of the state Senate, and Jackie Cilley, who previously served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and state senate, will compete for the democratic nomination to replace Lynch.

“I’m running for governor to focus on making New Hampshire’s workforce the best in the country, aligning our educational system with the needs of 21st century businesses and continuing to operate with the same fiscal discipline that Gov. Lynch championed and that our citizens demand and deserve,” Hassan said in an email to The Dartmouth sent by campaign manager Matt Burgess.

Hassan, who declared her candidacy in October 2011, has embarked on an “Innovate New Hampshire” tour to speak with businesses, employees and educators in the state.

Cilley announced her intention to run on Feb. 7 and has established a campaign website and Facebook group, as well as Twitter, Flickr and YouTube accounts.

“It is time to create jobs for working families rather than limit their opportunities,” she wrote on her website. “As the daughter of millworkers, I want the same opportunities for our citizens that I myself enjoyed.”

Smith and Lamontagne have also established websites, sought out endorsements and begun to campaign visibly.

“Our support is growing organically,” Smith said. “It’s a campaign of ideas and a campaign of solutions.”

In the 14 months since her loss to Bass, Kuster has raised over $1 million, according to the Union Leader. Bass had raised $760,000 as of Dec. 31, 2011, according to the Union Leader.

While Kuster’s website and campaign are in motion, the Bass campaign appears to be in the early stages of campaigning, with only a website homepage and links to contribute, volunteer and raise awareness.

“Because he is an incumbent, his campaign is just getting started,” College Republicans President J.P. Harrington ’14 said. “We’ve had a great relationship with him, and we had a very strong level of support in terms of phone banking in 2010.”

The College Democrats, whose members worked extensively on the Kuster campaign in 2010, will work with various democratic candidates this election cycle, according to president Sam Lewis ’13.

Lewis said Kuster will likely visit in the spring. He has been contact with the New Hampshire Democratic Party and the Hanover Democrats.

The campaigns of Ovide LaMontagne, Jackie Cilley and Charlie Bass could not be reached for comment by press time.

Daily Debriefing

The editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press, Boston University’s independent student newspaper, resigned on Tuesday following the release of the paper’s April Fools’ Day edition, according to the paper’s website. Sophomore journalism major Chelsea Diana stepped down at the request of the organization’s board of directors, prompted by a story that made of light of drug abuse and sexual assault by reporting the arrests of “frat dwarves” for the rape of Snow White, the post said. Other stories in “The Disney Free Press” covered content including the arrest of Cinderella for prostitution and the availability of LSD at “Lost Boys fraternity.” Diana apologized for the “callous and ignorant” edition in a Monday letter, in which she also wrote that the edition “perpetuated” rape culture, according to The Daily Free Press’ website.

On Monday morning, a former student at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif. opened fire on a group of people at the university, killing seven and wounding three more in the most violent campus shooting in the United States since the 2007 rampage at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The gunman asked students to line up against a wall and began shooting at them. The suspect has been identified as One Goh, a 43-year-old Korean national and former Oikos student, according to The Chronicle. Police know little about the suspect and have not yet determined his motive, The Chronicle reported.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected a suit on Monday that aimed to lift a ban on considering race in admissions decisions at public institutions of higher education in California, Inside Higher Education reported. A case in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding similar considerations at the University of Texas at Austin could establish whether public universities can use race and ethnicity to improve diversity within the student body, according to Inside Higher Ed. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the University of Michigan could not use affirmative action policies in its admission process because it would deprive minority citizens of their rights, Inside Higher Ed reported. A group called the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary has challenged the California and Michigan referenda and suggests that the decisions deny minority citizens constitutional rights to lobby for changes in admissions policy, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Physicist to meld music and science in classroom

When Stephon Alexander was 12 years old, the wife of a New York Yankees baseball player insisted her husband give up his rarely used saxophone. Alexander, a physics professor recently hired as the Ernest Everett Just 1907 faculty chair, began to play that very same saxophone after his father purchased it for him, around the same time that his middle school science classes ignited his love for physics.

Now Alexander explores the connections between music and theoretical physics and shows students without strong science backgrounds how they too can connect physics to the things they love.

“I want to be a professor to all students, whether they’re interested in physics or not,” Alexander said. “To me, a big part of the liberal arts education is to engage in the various disciplines and see how all disciplines connect.”

Alexander was born in Trinidad and grew up in the Bronx, where he played in his high school jazz band and excelled in science. He attended Haverford College as an undergraduate, majoring in physics and minoring in sociology, and completed his PhD in theoretical physics at Brown University, getting a “backup masters” in electrical engineering in case physics could not secure him a job, he said.

Today, his research focuses on questions in a field known as theoretical cosmology.

“I study how the world of particle physics and quantum gravity effects can be tested using measurements in cosmology,” Alexander said. “We know there is dark energy and dark matter out there, but we want to know what their identity is and what fundamental physics says about that. Combining the theoretical with the fundamental physics shows us how these things fit the pattern of what we already know exists.”

Before returning to teach at Haverford, Alexander explored different fields of physics to determine which he found most interesting. He studied at Imperial College in London and Stanford University’s Linear Accelerator Center, studying everything “from biophysics to string theory” before getting his first faculty job at the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos at Pennsylvania State University. He spent three years there before returning to his alma mater as a professor in 2008.

Although he is excited for the “beautiful” Dartmouth campus, Alexander said he anticipates his summer move will be a “big change.”

“Haverford is closer to metropolitan areas, and nowadays I sit in jazz clubs in New York once a week,” he said. “But I’m looking forward to doing some playing and talking shop with Dartmouth students and making new friends amongst the faculty. Hopefully I’ll get to play at one of the local dives.”

Alexander’s faculty chair position is part of the E.E. Just Program, designed to increase the number of minority students majoring in the sciences. The program is named for Ernest Everett Just, a member of the Class of 1907 and one of the first African-American Dartmouth graduates.

Alexander is already planning to bring “really cool and prominent speakers” to the College to foster minority participation in the sciences.

“Jim Gates, a member of President [Barack] Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and a well-known African-American physicist, will be coming to address the whole Dartmouth community,” Alexander said. “Events like these create a network and a perspective where students see that there’s a larger world where they can participate, especially in the sciences.”

This “large network of mentors around the country,” is one of the strengths Alexander will bring to the College, according to Associate Dean of Faculty for the Sciences and computer science professor David Kotz ’86.

“He’ll certainly bring a very strong science expertise, as he’s a fantastic theoretical physicist who will fit in well with the other faculty working in theoretical cosmology,” Kotz said. “He’s very passionate about finding ways to increase participation in the sciences by minority groups and people from non-traditional backgrounds, be they those without a strong science background or first-generation college students.”

Alexander’s appreciation for diversity extends to his approach to academics, he said.

“I’m looking forward to creating a new class called The Music of Physics,’ which will be geared towards all undergraduates,” he said. “I want to be able to show the exciting connections between music and science in general.”

The physics department is working to create a new space open to all students, which will help to bring students from diverse backgrounds together, according to Alexander.

“We’re hoping to open the E.E. Just Center for Theoretical Physics in the fall of next year,” he said. “There will be blackboards all over the place, overhead projectors, instruments everywhere and informal cross-disciplinary seminars.”

Because Alexander was a “senior hire” and his position comes with tenure, the search process worked differently than in the average situation, Kotz said.

“Number one, we wanted the person who was going to fill the position to be an excellent faculty member capable of world-class research and excellent teaching,” he said.

Dartmouth’s combination of emphasis on undergraduate teaching and research opportunities made it an ideal choice, Alexander said.

Technology upgrades mark Giaccone’s years as chief

Amidst the throngs of students, locals and retirees that comprise the breakfast rush on Friday mornings at Lou’s, two men occupy the same corner booth every week.

“The chief likes breakfast, and so do I,” Director of Safety and Security and College Proctor Harry Kinne said.

Hanover Police Department Chief Nicholas Giaccone and Kinne meet weekly over breakfast to discuss any ongoing investigations and take turns paying the bill, though they sometimes forget whose turn it is to pick up the tab, Kinne said.

In his nine years working with Giaccone, Kinne said the two have established a congenial professional and personal relationship.

“The College and police department don’t always agree, but we have always been able to work through any disagreement that has arisen in the past,” Kinne said.

In his 17 years as police chief, Giaccone has overseen a massive influx of new technological equipment to the department’s offices and squad cars, and he has increased the professionalism and oversight of the department, according to Captain Frank Moran, who has worked with Giaccone for 24 years.

Since joining the department in 1973, Giaccone worked his way up from patrol officer to detective and then to detective sergeant, he said. In 1994, former Hanover Police Chief Kurt Schimke died suddenly of a heart attack, and Giaccone was appointed to the position of acting chief while a national search process for a new police chief ensued, he said.

Giaccone said he enjoyed his job as detective sergeant and initially was not interested in the police chief position, but after enjoying his interim role, he decided to apply. Giaccone was eventually picked over five other candidates, he said.

Coming out of college, Giaccone said he entered police work because he saw it as a career in which there is always “something interesting and somewhat challenging” happening. He found satisfaction in his job because it allowed him to “serve a purpose in life” by providing the community with an important service.

“Each and every day is different,” Giaccone said. “You really don’t know what’s going to happen. You have a general idea, and you feel capable of handling things as they come along.”

In his free time, the police chief enjoys the outdoors, going on walks or riding his Harley, he said. So far he has taken three cross-country trips on his motorcycle.

While he is away on such tours, the department tracks the chief’s progress on its “Where in the World is Nick Giaccone?” map of the United States, which they pin to Giaccone’s office door, Hackett said. Each day Giaccone calls in to report his progress, and the department marks his route across the country on the map, Doug Hackett, Hanover Police Department’s communications coordinator, said.

“On nice days you’ll see him out on his bike,” Hackett said. “By late spring he’ll have his motorcycle tan.”

Moran said that in the office, Giaccone does not micro-manage but rather lets his staff do their jobs as they see fit. While all major cases and policy decisions go through him, Giaccone has surrounded himself with a staff of capable individuals and has a keen eye for promoting officers to positions that best suit their strengths, Moran said.

“[Giaccone] is not a stickler for details but does want things done professionally, consistently and fairly,” Moran said. “He does take on sort of a father position to younger and older guys in the department. He’s been a mentor, besides being a boss.”

Even in his role as chief, Giaccone is still actively involved in larger investigations and is willing to assist departments that ask for his help, Moran said. In the recent case of over a dozen laptop thefts at Baker-Berry Library, it was Giaccone who spotted the suspects’ car after they had changed their license plate from a temporary one to a permanent Vermont plate. This sped up the arrest process and helped the officers recover three-quarters of the stolen laptops, Moran said.

“As a chief, it’s unique that he’s very willing to assist so much in investigations,” he said. “Our department is too big to be small and too small to be big. The chief is always willing to do the grunt work.”

One thousand offense reports and 500 arrest reports come through the Hanover Police department every year, Giaccone said. While he does not read every citation the department issues, he does read all of the offense and arrest reports, he said.

Giaccone said the biggest change during his time as chief has been the department’s technological advancement. The Hanover Police Department was one of the first departments in New Hampshire to install mobile data systems, Giaccone said. Under Giaccone, the department established a working relationship with a major police software provider in Massachusetts to make sure Hanover Police’s technology stays up to date, he said.

“Officers today are pretty much capable of doing everything in their squad car that they could do at their office desks,” Giaccone said. “They can type reports, take calls and check missing persons reports or arrest warrants from their cars.”

Hackett said that the department’s technological improvements under Giaccone have allowed it to increase its law enforcement capabilities without having to hire additional officers at the expense of local taxpayers.

Giaccone has also been actively involved in trying to get New Hampshire’s state legislature to change its law prohibiting automated state license plate readers, Hackett said. This technology allows police cruisers to scan license plates on the road against warrants and missing person reports, he said.

In addition to technological progress, Moran said that the department is held to “higher standards and expectations” under Giaccone.

“We’re well trained and well prepared to handle what’s coming our way,” Moran said. “There is more oversight and scrutiny with audio and video records than in the past. Overall we’re more professional and more skilled.”

At this point in his career, Giaccone could likely retire making the same salary or more by collecting his pension, Moran said. The fact that he chooses to keep working each day indicates that “he has to love it,” he said.

Kim praised in Japan, South Korea

College President Jim Yong Kim met with the Japanese finance minister as part of his worldwide tour to garner support from key World Bank countries.

College President Jim Yong Kim has reached the halfway point of his worldwide listening tour, which will take him around the world in just under two weeks to meet with leaders of eight countries to discuss his candidacy for World Bank president. The tour also provides Kim an opportunity to collect ideas regarding his future initiatives, should he be elected.

In outlining his proposed plans for the World Bank in an opinion piece, “My Call for an Open, Inclusive World Bank,” published on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website, Kim said he hopes the institution will have the resources to alleviate poverty with input from developing nations and superpowers, solve problems as they arise and effectively serve all of its constituents, including “clients, donors, governments, citizens and civil society.”

“An era of extraordinary opportunity requires an extraordinary global institution,” Kim said in the column. “I want to hear from developing countries, as well as those that provide a big share of the resources to development, about how we can together build a more inclusive, responsive and open World Bank.”

The tour was originally scheduled to stop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Beijing; Tokyo; Seoul, South Korea; New Delhi; Brasilia, Brazil; and Mexico City, according to Reuters. Kim and the Treasury Department, chaired by Timothy Geithner ’83, have since extended the tour to visit Shaoxing, China and Brussels, Belgium, Bloomberg reported.

Economics professor Bruce Sacerdote said these countries were likely chosen as the places where Kim “has a good shot at getting support.”

While the main purpose of the visits is to garner endorsements from key political and economic leaders, Kim has also met with other world leaders, including Rwandan President Paul Kagame on March 27, according to the Treasury Department website. The two men discussed the importance of the World Bank to countries like Rwanda, which benefit from its poverty-fighting initiatives.

“I was delighted to learn that Jim Kim has been nominated for this post, as he is a true friend of Africa,” Kagame said in an interview published on the Treasury Department’s website. “He’s not only a physician and a leader who knows what it takes to address poverty, but also a genuinely good person.”

Kim made his first stop on March 29 in Ethiopia. He met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and members of the African Union, an international organization intended to facilitate collaboration between African nations.

African leaders, including Zenawi, have been opposed to some of the World Bank’s actions because they believe the U.S.-dominated institution imposes Western norms and ideologies on the continent, according to The Capital, an Ethiopian newspaper. Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has also been nominated for the World Bank presidency.

While in Addis Ababa, the only stop on the continent, Kim said Africa will be an area of focus if he is elected. Addis Ababa is the seat of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

In an interview with The Capital, Kim said it is too early for him to make announcements about specific policy goals but that he intends to “always be non-ideological” and focus on both “country involvement” and evidence.

Stopping in Beijing and Shaoxing, Kim met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and spoke about the model that China and South Korea have used to alleviate poverty and promote economic growth, according to the Treasury Department website.

After a few days in China, Kim crossed the East China Sea and landed in Tokyo to meet with Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi, according to Bloomberg. Kim left with the nation’s endorsement, according to The Daily Yomiuri, Japan’s largest English-language newspaper.

“We decided he is an extremely suitable candidate for the World Bank presidency and we will support him,” Azumi said in an interview with MSNBC, citing the value of Kim’s work with the World Health Organization and Partners in Health.

On Monday, Kim returned to his hometown of Seoul, South Korea to meet with officials. That he received the nation’s support was “expected,” according to government department chair John Carey.

“They were proud of him when he was president of Dartmouth, and they’re sure to be proud that he could be the next president of the World Bank,” Carey said.

Kim reached New Delhi on Tuesday and will proceed to Brussels, Brasilia and Mexico City before returning to the United States.

As a result of the World Bank’s weighted voting system, in which the 25 executive board members are allotted a percentage of the vote based on the monetary contributions of their country, Kim is likely to achieve the presidency over Okonjo-Iweala and for Columbian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo, the third nominee. The United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia are all independently represented on the executive board that selects the institution’s president.

In terms of voting weight, the U.S. is the largest shareholder in the World Bank, commanding almost 16 percent of the vote.

By securing both American and Japanese support, as well as likely support in the European Union, Kim seems to have 54 percent of the votes already secured at this time.

“It would make sense that Japan would support Kim and China wouldn’t,” Sacerdote said. “There seems to be a divide between developed and developing nations.”

An article in The Nigerian Daily, a Nigerian online news outlet, reported that the economic and political leaders of Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa are concerned that the weighted voting system disadvantages many countries and gives European nations, the U.S. and Japan too much power in the process. These five countries’ leaders have joined to support Okonjo-Iweala to make the nomination process more competitive, suggesting that Kim is “less qualified for the position when compared with the experience and qualification of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala,” the article said.

Sacerdote said he believes this criticism is misguided and that Kim’s experiences leading the College are “right on,” providing him the skill set necessary to lead a large nonprofit organization.

“He knows a lot about economics, a lot about developing nations and a lot about running a large organization,” Sacerdote said.

The Nigerian Daily reported that all of Africa should and will support the Nigerian candidate. Brazil’s lack of explicit support for Kim and the fact that Ocampo hails from Colombia also make it seem unlikely that Kim will receive support from South American countries.

Nonetheless, Sacerdote said that it is “smart strategy” for Kim to visit nations like Ethiopia, China and Brazil.

“Reaching out to places that don’t support him in this election but that he’ll need to work with in the future is a good move,” he said.