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President to Nominate Wolfowitz to Head World Bank

President to Nominate Wolfowitz to Head World Bank
By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2005 – Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is President Bush’s choice to head the World Bank, the president said here today.
Wolfowitz would succeed James D. Wolfensohn, who announced in January that he would not seek a third five-year term as World Bank president. His current term expires May 31.

Bush revealed his decision in answer to a question at a White House news conference.

“I appreciate the world leaders taking my phone calls as I explain to them why I think Paul will be a strong president of the World Bank,” the president said. “I said he was a man of good experience. He helped manage a large organization.

“The World Bank’s a large organization; the Pentagon’s a large organization,” Bush continued. “He’s been involved in the management of that organization. He’s a skilled diplomat (who) worked at the State Department in high positions. He was ambassador to Indonesia, where he did a very good job representing our country. And Paul is committed to development.”

The World Bank is a cooperative organization composed of five closely associated institutions, all owned by a member country. Its mission as a specialized agency of the United Nations, according to the organization’s Web site, is to turn rich-country wealth into poor-country development, supporting the efforts of developing country governments to build schools and health centers, provide water and electricity, fight disease and protect the environment.

Traditionally, the World Bank’s president is American, based on the United States being the largest shareholder in the institution. Wolfowitz’s nomination would be subject to a vote of the World Bank’s executive directors.

Wolfowitz has served as deputy defense secretary since March 2001. He previously held a variety of Defense Department and State Department posts. Before moving into the Pentagon’s No. 2 position, he spent seven years as dean and professor of international relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.



Deputy Secretary of Defense

Paul Wolfowitz has spent more than 30 years as a public servant and educator, including 24 years in government service under six Presidents. In March, 2001, he began his third tour at the Defense Department as the 28th Deputy Secretary of Defense.

In the Pentagon’s number two post, Wolfowitz manages day-to-day operations and supports Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in his efforts to transform the U.S. Armed Forces to meet the threats of the 21st century.

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, Wolfowitz has assisted in planning the global war on terrorism, including military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has also played a diplomatic role in speeches before international audiences and in outreach to potential friends and allies, including moderate Muslims who aspire to freedom and self-determination.

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed Wolfowitz to his second Defense Department tour as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Pentagon’s third-ranking post. He assisted Defense Secretary Cheney in developing plans for prosecuting the Gulf War and in raising more than $50 billion in allied financial support.

Under President Reagan, Wolfowitz served three years as U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, the fourth most-populous country in the world and the largest in the Muslim world. During his tour, he was an advocate for political reform and negotiated on behalf of American intellectual property rights. Under his direction, U.S. Embassy Jakarta was recognized by the Inspector General as one of the best-managed U.S. diplomatic missions.

Before being posted to Indonesia, Wolfowitz served two years as head of the State Department’s Policy Planning Office and three-and-a-half years as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, working with the leaders of more than 20 countries. Wolfowitz assisted in a major improvement in U.S. relations with China and a strengthening of our alliances with Japan and Korea. He also played a key role in supporting the peaceful transition to democracy in the Philippines and laying the groundwork for the subsequent democratic transition in Korea.

During his first Pentagon tour as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs from 1977-1980, Wolfowitz led the first major assessment of U.S. strategic interests and challenges in the Persian Gulf, a study which helped to create what later became the United States Central Command. He also helped initiate the Maritime Pre-positioning Program, a plan that positioned heavy weapons and ammunition aboard ships in the Persian Gulf region. That preparation was the backbone of the initial U.S. response 12 years later during Operation Desert Shield.

Wolfowitz’s time outside government has been spent principally as a leader in higher education. From 1994-2001, he served as Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of The Johns Hopkins University. During his tenure, Wolfowitz also contributed to the public debate on national security issues through his writings, testimony before Congress, and service on public commissions—among them the 1998 Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States and the 1996 President’s Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Earlier, Wolfowitz taught political science at Yale University from 1970 to 1973. In 1993, he was the George F. Kennan Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College.

Wolfowitz has written widely on national security strategy and foreign policy. He was a member of the advisory boards of the journals Foreign Affairs and National Interest. Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cornell University in 1965 and a doctorate in political science from the University of Chicago in 1972.

See also recent speeches, testimony and articles:


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