Tuesday, May 21, 2024

88 Robert Bruce Zoellick
President - The World Bank Group

Robert B. Zoellick was appointed as president of the World Bank Group, the 185 member country 'Bretton Woods' institution, on July 2007. He was nominated by outgoing US president, George W Bush. Prior to joining the Bank, he served as Vice Chairman, International of the Goldman Sachs Group, Managing Director, and Chairman of Goldman Sachs' Board of International Advisors from 2006-07.

An advisor of several Republican adminiistrations since the 1980s, he served In 2005-06 as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. State Department acting as the Department's Chief Operating Officer and policy alternate for the Secretary of State. From 2001 to January 2005, he served in the U.S. Cabinet as the 13th U.S. Trade Representative.

Zoellick's mandate is now non partisan, as president of the non political World Bank, a change in roles he has publicly acknowledged. As a counterpart to this, he has sought to widen the World Bank's engagement on a global basis beyond official political and institutional channnels, to embrace NGOs, and to what he describes as 'civil society', for example parliamentarians, and others.

In the early years of the decade, Zoellick worked actively in promoting trade agreements across the globe. He was instrumental, in completing the accession of China and Chinese Taipei to the WTO. He forged 'an activist approach to free trade at the global, regional, and bilateral levels, while securing support for open markets with the U.S. Congress and a broad coalition of domestic constituencies'. He launched the Doha Development Agenda in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 and then to complete the framework accord for opening markets in 2004. He also completed or substantially advanced the accessions to the WTO of Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam, and Russia.

Zoellick enacted or completed FTAs between the USA and Jordan, Chile, Singapore, Morocco, Bahrain, five countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic, and Australia. He also launched FTAs, later completed, with Peru, Colombia, and Panama, and enacted a Basic Trade Agreement with Viet Nam.

From 1993 to 1997, he served as an Executive Vice President of Fannie Mae, the large housing finance corporation, where he supervised the affordable housing business, as well as offices dealing with legal, regulatory, government and industry relations, and international services.

From 1985 to 1993, Mr. Zoellick served with Secretary James A. Baker, III at the Treasury Department (from Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Policy to Counselor to the Secretary); State Department (Undersecretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs as well as Counselor of the Department with Undersecretary rank); and briefly Deputy Chief of Staff at the White House and Assistant to the President. Zoellick (an American of German extraction and fluent German speaker) was the lead U.S. official in the "Two-plus-Four" process of German unification in 1989-90. He was the "Sherpa" to the President for the preparation of the Economic Summits in 1991-92.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in 1975. He earned a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School and a MPP from the Kennedy School of Government in 1981. He lived in Hong Kong on a fellowship in 1980.
Zoellick has also served on many non-profit boards, among them the Council on Foreign Relations, the European Institute, the American Council on Germany, the American Institute of Contemporary German Studies, the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., the National Bureau of Asian Research, the Overseas Development Council, and the Advisory Councils of the World Wildlife Fund and the Institute of International Economics. He grew up in Naperville, Illinois.