U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been in discussions with the White House about leaving her job next year to become head of the World Bank, sources familiar with the discussions said on Thursday.
The former first lady and onetime political rival to President Barack Obama quickly became one of the most influential members of his cabinet after she began her tenure at State in early 2009.
She has said publicly she did not plan to stay on at the State Department for more than four years. Associates say Clinton has expressed interest in having the World Bank job should the Bank's current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term, in the middle of 2012.
"Hillary Clinton wants the job," said one source who knows the secretary well.
A second source also said Clinton wants the position.
A third source said Obama has already expressed support for the change in her role. It is unclear whether Obama has formally agreed to nominate her for the post, which would require approval by the 187 member countries of the World Bank.