Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Robert Zoellick Former president of the World Bank from QFinance: The Ultimate Resource
LIFE AND CAREER

Robert Zoellick was president of the World Bank from 2007 to 2012, having previously been US Deputy Secretary of State. After studying at Harvard Law School and Harvard University, he worked at the US Court of Appeals, before moving to the Treasury department. He has also been a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and managing director and chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Board of International Advisors. He was appointed President George H. W. Bush’s personal representative for the G7 Economic Summits in 1991 and 1992, before being appointed White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President. During the 1990s, he also served on many nonprofit boards, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the European Institute, and the Institute of International Economics. He served in the Executive Office and on the firm’s Risk and Business Practices Committees, and was a US Trade Representative between 2001 and 2005.

KEY THINKING
  • Robert Zoellick has been stalwart promoter of US economic interests, and political security issues for many years.

  • He has also played leading roles in a number of high-profile administration decisions, including the effort to mediate the crisis in Sudan, where he helped persuade Darfur’s rebel leaders to sign a peace accord.

  • In 2000, he aided the new foreign policy directions that would come with a Bush Jr administration; he supported the use of military superiority that would allow the US to manage international order.

  • In 2001, he worked on the Doha Development Agenda, and three years later spearheaded the international effort to revitalize the Doha negotiations, by putting together a new framework for the next stage of commitments.

  • He also devised the plans to launch a Middle East Free Trade Area, the Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative, and other ventures to increase trade and development.

  • At Fannie Mae, he supervised the restructuring of its affordable housing business, as well as the legal, regulatory, government and industry relations, and international services.

  • He has been instrumental in making new free-trade agreements with a number of countries, and led the State Department in the NAFTA and Uruguay Round (GATT) negotiations.

IN PERSPECTIVE
  • As head of the Office of Oceans, Environment, and Science at the State Department, he guided the US negotiations in achieving the Global Climate Change Framework Agreement of 1992.

  • As a counselor at the State Department, and Under Secretary of State for Economics, he was central to the creation of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, for which he received the Distinguished Service Award.

  • While a US Trade Representative, he was involved in negotiations to bring China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization.

  • He played an important role in the discussions which took place at the end of the Cold War, persuading the US government to support the reunification of West and East Germany, and representing them at the multiparty negotiation over the future of Germany.

“A modern Republican foreign policy recognizes that there is still evil in the world—people who hate America and the ideas for which it stand…The United States must remain vigilant and have the strength to defeat its enemies.”

Robert Zoellick
Copyright © Bloomsbury Information Ltd, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Related Credo Articles

Full text Article Robert B. Zoellick
1000 CEOs

President, World Bank Group A varied career in law, finance, and government led to Zoellick’s 2007 presidency of the World Bank Group, which...

Full text Article Robert Zoellick (1953–)
Contemporary World Issues: U.S. Trade Issues: A Reference Handbook

President George W. Bush's first U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick was the architect of the competitive liberalization strategy that...

Full text Article Zoellick, Robert
Economic Thinkers: A Biographical Encyclopedia

Born: July 25, 1953, in Evergreen Park, Illinois; American; diplomat for international trade, president of the World Bank (2007); Major Works: “Camp

See more from Credo