Robert Zoellick served as the 11th President of the World Bank from 2007-12. He is currently Chairman of Goldman Sachs International Advisory Board, and serves on the boards of Temasek, Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, and Laureate International Universities, as well as on the international advisory board of Rolls Royce. Zoellick is also a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the board of the Congressionally-created National Endowment for Democracy and the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Zoellick is one of the world’s most distinguished authorities on the global economy, international finance and foreign policy. During his tenure as President, Zoellick turned around an institution in trouble, recapitalised the Bank, and expanded financing for developing countries during the food, fuel, and financial crises. He modernised the Bank by making it more accountable, flexible, fast-moving, transparent, and focused on good governance and anti-corruption. His record was also marked by an increased role for the private sector through the Bank’s International Finance Corporation, which under his leadership has boosted business, expanded equity investments, mobilised more co-investments, and recruited sovereign wealth funds and pension funds to invest in poor countries, especially in Africa.
Before his term at the Bank, Zoellick served as Vice-Chairman, International, of Goldman Sachs as well as Chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Board of International Advisors from 2006-07. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Zoellick was Deputy Secretary of State 2005-06, where he was Chief Operating Officer and led the US’s China policy. He served in President George W. Bush’s cabinet as U.S. Trade Representative from 2001-2005 where he revitalised America’s free trade agenda, increasing U.S. FTAs fivefold. He also served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2005-2006.
From 1985-1993, Zoellick worked at the Treasury and State departments in various capacities, including as Counsellor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of State, as well as briefly in the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff. He was the lead U.S. negotiator in the 2 + 4 process for Germany’s unification, serving under Secretary James A. Baker III. The German Government awarded Zoellick the Knight Commanders Cross for his work on unification. The Mexican and Chilean Governments presented him their highest honors for non-citizens the Aztec Eagle and the Order of Merit, respectively.
Zoellick holds a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from Swarthmore College.