(Clarifies in paragraph 3 that Basu will remain Cornell professor)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank on Wednesday named Kaushik Basu as its chief economist, placing a candidate from an emerging market country in a key position at the global development lender.
Basu, who was most recently chief economic adviser to the government of India, is the World Bank's second chief economist from a developing country. He replaces Justin Lin, a citizen of China, whose term expired on June 1.
Basu, who holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, is on leave from his position as a professor of economics and international studies at Cornell University in New York. He previously founded the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics.
Emerging market countries have long pushed for more clout at the poverty-fighting World Bank and its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund.
Starting from October, Basu will serve under new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American and who took the helm of the World Bank two months ago.
"Kaushik brings first-hand experience from a developing country and will be a terrific asset to the institution," Kim said in a statement. (Reporting by Anna Yukhananov, editing by Leslie Adler)