- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2007

12:11 p.m.

A top adviser to World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is leaving the institution, citing the continuing controversy surrounding Mr. Wolfowitz’s handling of a pay package for his girlfriend.

“Given the current environment surrounding the leadership of the World Bank Group, it is very difficult to be effective in helping to advance the mission of the institution. Therefore, I have decided to leave for other opportunities,” Kevin Kellems said today.

Mr. Wolfowitz had tapped Mr. Kellems, who came from the White House and worked with him previously at the Defense Department, to become his adviser at the poverty-fighting institution. Mr. Kellems’ arrival in June 2005 eventually touched off criticism among staff that Mr. Wolfowitz was sealing himself off with a small cadre of trusted advisers.

A special bank panel looking into Mr. Wolfowitz’s handling of the 2005 promotion and pay raises for bank employee Shaha Riza is also believed to be examining other employment arrangements, including the one involving Mr. Kellems.

Mr. Kellems and another close adviser to Mr. Wolfowitz, Robin Cleveland, each are paid more than $200,000 a year — compensation that has irked some bank staff. Critics say they lacked extensive development experience.

Mr. Kellems’ last day is expected to be next week. He didn’t say what he will do after leaving the bank.

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