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Robert B. Zoellick, outgoing president of the World Bank, will join Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in July as a senior fellow. Zoellick, whose five-year term at the Bank ends June 30, is a former Belfer Center research fellow and an alumnus of the Kennedy School. He has also been named a distinguished visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C.
Zoellick graduated from the Kennedy School and the Harvard Law School in 1981. Over the years, he has frequently visited the Belfer Center, speaking at student sessions and at Belfer Center directors’ lunches. As an International Security Program research fellow at the Belfer Center in 1999-2000, he worked closely with Center Director Graham Allison and the late Charles Warren Professor of American History Ernest May, as he researched key themes of American foreign policy in the 20th century through the experiences of Secretaries of State.
“Harvard’s Belfer Center is proud to welcome Bob home to an analytic community,” Allison said, “to which he will bring his extraordinary combination of curiosity, insight, and experience.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to engage with the scholars and practitioners at Harvard’s Belfer Center and the Peterson Institute for International Economics,” said Zoellick. “I hope to work on the intersection of economics and security, applying history to policy questions of today. Both institutions have been at the cutting edge of research and policy development, and I have benefited greatly from both in the past.”
As the 11th president of the World Bank, Zoellick turned around an institution in trouble in 2007, recapitalized the Bank, and expanded financing for the poorest countries following the food, fuel and financial crises of recent years. He modernized the Bank by making it more accountable, flexible, fast-moving, transparent, and focused on good governance and anti-corruption. He has increased representation of developing countries in governance and staffing and encouraged developing countries to set their own priorities rather than have them dictated from the Bank. His record has also been marked by an increased role for the private sector through the bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), which under his leadership has recruited sovereign wealth funds and pension funds to invest in poor countries, especially in Africa.
Before his term at the Bank, Mr. Zoellick served as vice chairman, international, of the Goldman Sachs Group, as well as managing director and chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Board of International Advisors from 2006-2007. Previously, he was deputy secretary of State in 2005-2006 and a member of the cabinet as U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005.
From 1985 to 1993, he served at the Treasury and State Departments in various posts, as well as White House deputy chief of staff. He was the lead U.S. official in the "Two-plus-Four" process of German unification in 1989-90 and served as "sherpa" for the preparation of the G-7/8 Economic Summits in 1991-92.
Mr. Zoellick graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in 1975 and earned a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the Kennedy School of Government in 1981.