Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn Joins Board of Carnegie Corporation of New York
New York, New York, December 14, 2009 — Governor Thomas H. Kean, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Corporation of New York and Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation, today announced the appointment of former World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn to its Board of Trustees.
"We are truly honored that James Wolfensohn has agreed to serve on our Board of Trustees," said Vartan Gregorian. "He is a leader of great insight and vision who has tirelessly dedicated himself to advancing the welfare of humanity through efforts to alleviate global poverty, improve education and promote social justice. He is a true international public servant. Under James Wolfensohn's leadership, the World Bank Group redoubled its efforts to work with poor nations by giving them a greater voice in the most effective use of development resources, thus helping to magnify the return on development investments. His focus on impact will help advance Carnegie Corporation's mission."
Commenting on James Wolfensohn's appointment, Governor Kean said, "James Wolfensohn understands that achieving peace is the prerequisite to eliminating poverty - a sentiment that the Corporation's founder, Andrew Carnegie, would surely have agreed with."
James Wolfensohn served as President of the World Bank from 1995 to 2005. During his tenure, he made sustainable poverty reduction the World Bank's overarching mission. Under his leadership the Bank became the largest external financier of primary education, basic health, HIV/AIDS programs, the environment and biodiversity. Mr. Wolfensohn was only the third president in Bank history to be reappointed for a second five-year term by the Board of Executive Directors.
The Bank's original mandate of post-conflict reconstruction became an increasing focus beginning in the late 1990s, with the institution becoming involved in war-torn areas from Afghanistan to Bosnia to Rwanda. Understanding that poverty cannot be eliminated without peace, Mr. Wolfensohn encouraged further exploration of the linkages between economic opportunity and human security, with the idea that increasing social and economic stability can foster the prevention of conflict.
Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Wolfensohn established his career as an international investment banker with a parallel involvement in development issues and the global environment.
Upon leaving the World Bank in 2005, he founded Wolfensohn & Company, LLC, a privately held firm that invests, and provides strategic consulting advice to governments and large corporations doing business in emerging market economies. Wolfensohn was appointed in 2005 by United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as special envoy for Gaza disengagement, a position in which he served for a year. And since 2006, he has served as Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Citigroup.
In 2006, James Wolfensohn, a respected philanthropist with a national and international perspective, founded the Wolfensohn Center for Development at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The center seeks effective solutions to key development challenges in order to create a more prosperous and stable world. Current projects focus on aid effectiveness, early childhood development and Middle East youth.
Wolfensohn is an honorary Trustee of the Brookings Institution, a Trustee and the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is also Chairman Emeritus of Carnegie Hall in New York and of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Board of various charitable foundations, including the Wolfensohn Family Foundation. In July 2008, Wolfensohn was selected as one of the inaugural fellows of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. James Wolfensohn, born in Australia, is a naturalized American citizen. He has received scores of honors from institutions and governments, including an honorary knighthood of the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II.
James Wolfensohn joins a Board of Trustees whose composition reflects the Corporation's international perspective and its commitment to finding innovative responses to complex national and global challenges. Serving on the Board are prominent global leaders including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mexico's former Secretary of the Treasury, a former Foreign Minister of Spain, a former Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former U.S. Ambassador who has served in numerous international posts. The Board also includes three university presidents and two former U.S. governors, one of whom also served as U.S. Secretary of Education. The President and CEO of The New York Times Company and the Chairman of Bloomberg's BusinessWeek provide the Board with a deep understanding of current changes in communications and the news industry. Also serving on the Board is a former Mayor of a major U.S. city, the President of the National Academy of Sciences, the Chairman of a major law firm and the CEO of a major investment firm.
Returning to the foundation's Board is Geoffrey T. Boisi, who was elected to a four year term. Boisi is CEO and Chairman of Roundtable Investment Partners, LLC and the former Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase, where he served as co-CEO of JPMorgan, the firm's investment bank. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, he was founding Chairman and Senior Partner of The Beacon Group, a private investment firm. Boisi had also served as a Senior General Partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He served on Carnegie Corporation's Board from 2000 to 2008 and continued to advise the foundation's Investment Committee after his retirement from the Board.
Commenting on Boisi's re-election, Vartan Gregorian said, "Geoffrey Boisi's colleagues on the Carnegie Corporation Board of Trustees and I know that in a time of great economic and social change in our nation and across the globe, it is critical that we continue to benefit from Geoff's guidance and leadership. His expertise in the fast-moving world of international finance is a great contribution to our work, but even more so is that fact that education and philanthropy are at the top of his agenda. We are grateful for the fact that he will be serving on our Board for four more years."
Geoffrey Boisi is a founding Board member of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management; and Chairman and co-founder of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership. The Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College was endowed by Boisi and his wife Rene.