When George Bush nominated Paul Wolfowitz to be President of the World Bank, a lot of people seem to have thought it was a joke.
Since becoming Deputy US Defense Secretary in 2001, Wolfowitz has been called many things: the High Priest of Neo-Con; the chief architect of the Iraq war; even "Wolfowitz of Arabia" for his fervent support of the Administration's Middle East policies. He had never been considered a champion of economic development.
Paul Wolfowitz will become the 10th president of the World Bank
Critics said it was further proof that the US shouldn't get to fill the job.
Despite the uproar, not a single country came out publicly against George Bush's pick, and on June 2005 Paul Wolfowitz will become the 10th President of the world's largest development organization, responsible for lending programmes of more than $20bn a year and a worldwide staff of nearly 10,000.
Activists outside the Bank are seething. Staff inside are holding their breath. But what do we really know about Paul Wolfowitz and his capacity to run this institution?
On the day the Bank's board officially approved his appointment (31 March), we went to Washington in search of an answer. Among others, we talked to: Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner who used to be the Bank's chief economist; Dennis Ross, who used to work for Wolfowitz at the State Department and was later Bill Clinton's chief Middle East negotiator; and the thinker Francis Fukuyama, an old friend and former colleague.
We came away with a more subtle portrait of the man, and his prospects at the Bank, than Newsnight viewers might have expected.
Click on the link at the top of the right-hand column to watch Stephanie Flanders' film