Judicial clerkship (1982–1983) Government service (1985–1992)
Zoellick served in various positions at the Department of the Treasury
from 1985 to 1988. He held positions including Counselor to Secretary James Baker
, Executive Secretary of the Department, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Policy.
During George H. W. Bush
's presidency, Zoellick served with Baker, by then Secretary of State
, as Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs
, as well as Counselor to the Department (Under Secretary rank). Zoellick served as Bush's personal representative or "sherpa" for the G7
Economic Summits in 1991 and 1992. He led the US Delegation to the Two Plus Four talks on German reunification.
For his achievements in this role, the Federal Republic of Germany awarded him in 1992 the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit.
James A. Baker's book "The Politics of Diplomacy" notes that Zoellick was one of Secretary Baker's "inner circle"..."combin(ing) Midwest common sense with policy sophistication." He was a "superb manager, policy analyst, and writer," Baker's "second brain" and "gatekeeper" and his "right hand man on NAFTA", the North American Free Trade Agreement. </ref The Politics of Diplomacy, James A. Baker III> In August 1992, Zoellick was appointed White House Deputy Chief of Staff
and Assistant to the President.
Business, academia, and politics (1993–2001)
From 1996 to 1999, he served as director of the Aspen Strategy Group.
He served as an elected member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In the 2000 presidential election
campaign, Zoellick served as a foreign policy advisor to George W. Bush as part of a group, led by Condoleezza Rice
, which she termed The Vulcans
, after her home town of Birmingham, Alabama. James Baker designated him as his second-in-command—"a sort of chief operating officer or chief of staff"—in the 36-day battle over recounting the vote in Florida
U.S. Trade Representative (2001–2005)
Zoellick was named U.S. Trade Representative in Bush's first term; he was a member of the Executive Office
, with cabinet rank. According to the U.S. Trade Representative
website, Zoellick completed negotiations to bring China and Taiwan
into the World Trade Organization
(WTO); developed a strategy to launch new global trade negotiations at the WTO meeting in Doha
; shepherded Congressional
action on the Jordan
Free Trade Agreement and the Vietnam
Trade Agreement; and worked with Congress to pass the Trade Act of 2002
, which included new Trade Promotion Authority.
"Zoellick is indisputably one of the most successful members of the first Bush cabinet." </ref National Journal
12/4/04> He espoused "competitive liberalization"...and "trade openings at the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels." At USTR, Zoellick also finalized "free trade deals with Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Morocco, Singapore, and five Central American economies and launched others."</ref>
Zoellick played a key role in the U.S.-WTO dispute against the European Union
over genetically modified foods
. The move sought to require that the European Union comply with international obligations to use science-based methods in continuing its moratorium on the approval of new genetically modified crops within the E.U.
Deputy Secretary of State (2005–2006)
On January 7, 2005, Bush nominated Zoellick to be Deputy Secretary of State
Zoellick assumed the office on February 22, 2005. Zoellick agreed to serve as Deputy Secretary of State for not less than one year.
He was seen as a major architect of the Bush administration
's policies regarding China. In an important speech September 21, 2005, Zoellick challenged China "to become a 'responsible stakeholder' in the international system, contributing more actively than in the past to help shore up the stability of the international system from which it ha[d] benefited so greatly."
In his "thoughtful and influential speech...Zoellick correctly argued that China had benefited greatly from the security and prosperity created by a stable, rule-based international economic and political order. But China had contributed a disproportionally small amount to maintain that order. Zoellick recognized that one of the great challenges facing diplomats in the United States, Europe, and Japan was to persuade China to do more to contribute to the global commons."
In addition, Zoellick chartered a new direction in the Darfur
He made four trips to Sudan during his time as Deputy Secretary. He supported expanding a United Nations
force in the Darfur region to replace African Union
soldiers. He was involved in negotiating a peace accord between the government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Army
, signed in Abuja
, in May 2006. Zoellick was seen by many as the administration's strongest voice on Darfur. His resignation catalyzed groups, such as the Genocide Intervention Network
, to praise his record on human rights issues.
President of the World Bank (2007–2012)
On 25 June 2007, Zoellick was approved by the World Bank's executive board.
On 1 July 2007, Zoellick officially took office as President of the World Bank.
In a major speech at the National Press Club in Washington on October 10, 2007, Zoellick formulated what he described as "six strategic themes in support of the goal of an inclusive and sustainable globalization" which he proposed should guide the future work of the World Bank:
First, the World Bank Group faces the challenge of helping to overcome poverty and spur sustainable growth in the poorest countries, especially in Africa...
Second, we need to address the special problems of states coming out of conflict or seeking to avoid the breakdown of the state...
Third, the World Bank Group needs a more differentiated business model for the middle income countries...
Fourth, the World Bank Group will need to play a more active role in fostering regional and global public goods that transcend national boundaries and benefit multiple countries and citizens...
Fifth, one of the most notable challenges of our time is how to support those seeking to advance development and opportunities in the Arab World...
Finally, while the World Bank Group has some of the attributes of a financial and development business, its calling is much broader. It is a unique and special institution of knowledge and learning. It collects and supplies valuable data. Yet this is not a university – rather it is a "brain trust" of applied experience that will help us to address the five other strategic themes.
During Zoellick's time at the World Bank, the institution's capital stock was expanded
and lending volumes increased to help member countries deal with the global financial and economic crisis;
assistance was stepped up to deal with the famine in the Horn of Africa;
a major increase in resources was achieved for the institution's soft loan facility, the International Development Association
(IDA), which lends to the poorest countries;
and a reform was carried out to the World Bank's shareholding, Executive Board and voting structure, to increase the influence of developing and emerging economies in the World Bank's governance.
In "The Quiet Revolutionary who saved the World Bank", Financial Times commentator Sebastian Mallaby wrote that during his term Zoellick had "driven remarkable change... adapt[ing] nimbly to the new world that globalisation has wreaked." Zoellick made advances in the use of open data, promoted senior officials from developing countries, addressed climate change, expanded aid during the financial crisis and obtained a capital increase, with developing countries providing more than half.
Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School (2012–present)
After leaving the World Bank
, Zoellick took up the position as a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School
's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on July 1, 2012.
From September 2013 through 2016, he served as Chairman of International Advisors to Goldman Sachs.[better source needed]
Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaign
Anonymous sources supposedly affiliated with Romney's transition project
claimed he hoped to be appointed as Romney's United States Secretary of State
. This speculation was also fueled by Politico
in August 2012, when it was reported that 'in diplomatic circles it is seen as very likely' that Zoellick "could get the top job" as Secretary of State in a potential Romney cabinet
However, other anonymous "former Romney advisers" stated to Foreign Policy
that foreign policy transition team members would not necessarily receive certain jobs in Romney's potential administration.
This speculation about Zoellick's possible role in a Romney administration was moot when Romney lost the election to incumbent Barack Obama.
Board memberships and honors
Zoellick has served as a board member for a number of private and public organizations, including Alliance Capital, Said Holdings, Rolls Royce, the Precursor Group, and Laureate International Universities. Since 2013, he has been a member of the board of directors of the Peterson Institute for International Economics,
and since 2018 of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Previously, he was a member of the advisory board of AXA, of Viventures, a venture fund, and a director of the Aspen Institute
's Strategy Group. He is also a member of Washington D.C. based think tank, The Inter-American Dialogue
He chairs the Global Tiger Initiative
and is a member of the Global Leadership Council of Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian agency.
As of 2 August 2013, Zoellick has been a board member of Temasek Holdings
- Singapore's Sovereign Wealth Fund.
He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State's highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award of the Department of the Treasury, and the Medal for Distinguished Public Service of the Department of Defense.
In 2016, he received the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Excellence in Diplomacy Award.
In 2017, he was a recipient of the Economic Club of Minnesota's Bill Frenzel Champion of Free Trade Award.
Served as non-executive Chairman of the Board of AllianceBernstein, May 2017-May 2019.
In March 2016, Zoellick signed an "open letter" in which GOP national security leaders outlined their reasons not to support a ticket headed by Donald Trump.
In August, Zoellick signed a letter from fifty GOP national security officials calling Trump a national security risk.
Zoellick was one of three Cabinet-level Republican officials to oppose Trump's candidacy.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle(DW)Nov.1, 2016, Zoellick said "My belief differences with Trump were not only placed on policy -- his protectionism, his infatuation with authoritarian leaders and Vladimir Putin. But also that I think he is a narcissistic, ego-driven person and that he would be dangerous. I have had the good fortune to serve a number of different presidents and I know the importance of that job and I don't want him in the Oval Office."
Zoellick has written extensively on foreign policy and international economics. He is a proponent of free trade.
In a September 2017 article, he urged Congress to assert its constitutional powers over trade before Trump's policies "unravel vital ties across the Asia-Pacific region, hurt an ally facing a security crisis, destroy a North American partnership ... and subvert confidence in the U.S. around the world."
He contributes opinion pieces to the Financial Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Zoellick is the author of America in the World
In Australia's New Left Review, Gavan McCormack claimed
that USTR Zoellick intervened during a 2004 privatization
issue in Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
's re-election campaign. McCormack wrote, "The office of the U.S. Trade Representative has played an active part in drafting the Japan Post
privatization law. An October 2004 letter from Robert Zoellick to Japan's Finance Minister Takenaka Heizo, tabled in the Diet
on August 2, 2005, included a handwritten note from Zoellick commending Takenaka. Challenged to explain this apparent U.S. government
intervention in a domestic matter, Koizumi merely expressed his satisfaction that Takenaka had been befriended by such an important figure… It is hard to overestimate the scale of the opportunity offered to U.S. and global finance capital by the privatization of the Postal Savings System
In a January 2000 Foreign Affairs
essay entitled "Campaign 2000: A Republican Foreign Policy," he noted five Republican principles (respect for power, building and sustaining coalitions and alliances, recognizing common interests with international agreements and institutions, embracing new technologies for global politics and security, and the continuing presence of bad actors. "[T]here is still evil in the world—people who hate America and the ideas for which it stands. Today, we face enemies who are hard at work to develop nuclear
, and chemical weapons
, along with the missiles to deliver them. The United States must remain vigilant and have the strength to defeat its enemies. People driven by enmity or by a need to dominate will not respond to reason or goodwill. They will manipulate civilized rules for uncivilized ends."
Much of the essay stresses the links between power and economics "The United States needs a strategic economic-negotiating agenda that combines regional agreements with the development of global rules for an open economy." The same essay praises the idealism
" of Theodore Roosevelt
and Woodrow Wilson
In the lead-up to the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit
and in the immediate wake of the U.S. elections
and subsequent Fed QE2
monetary-policy move, Zoellick published a suggestion
for increased awareness of the function of gold in international currency markets. This was misinterpreted by many economists as a call for the return of some form of gold standard
in a post-Bretton Woods II
Zoellick's response was to point out the misinterpretation: he did not advocate a return to the gold standard, but a new role for gold in currency markets as an alternative monetary asset, which he termed "reference point gold".
Zoellick signed the January 26, 1998 letter
to President Bill Clinton
from Project for a New American Century
(PNAC) that noted the "inadequacy of relying on Saddam Hussein's cooperation" in refraining from the use of weapons of mass destruction and urged a strategy aimed at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power in Iraq. The letter pressed President Clinton to employ a "full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts."
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Last edited on 3 March 2021, at 20:41
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