who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Full texts of Wolfowitz submissions to the board. Now on-line: the full documents that Wolfowitz and his team have submitted today to the Bank board's hearing. They contain a professional effort to re-marshal his arguments, but little new material. And no coverage whatsoever of the broader allegations which have emerged against him, Riza and his senior appointees.

The Washington Post has uploaded PDFs of the full legal statement and Wolfowitz's verbal opening statement.

On a quick reading it seems he sticks closely to the narrow technical details - attempting to blame the Ethics Committee for failing to do its duty. He does not go into questions of what Riza was doing consulting in Iraq, what her jobs at State of the Foundation consist of, nor any of the issues relating to his senior appointees and their alleged trampling of Bank policies and norms.

He makes another apology for the 'tumult' caused to the institution, but says the chaos would worsen if he is ousted. This effort to turn back his critics' arguments is most notable. He says that the Bank would have trouble finding a new president if the current one goes as a result of this process. Surely not: if someone is selected on the basis of merit, and not just by one government then they'll be in a stronger position. Especially if they operate in a much cleaner and more trust-building manner than Wolfowitz.

Secondly he says that he has done a lot to make the case for the Bank to get more funding; which would suffer if he goes. Again untrue. Two months ago Europeans were already unsure about big contributions to the Bank's IDA coffers while Mr Wolfowitz was in charge. How much more so now. And why should a Democrat-run Congress be more impressed to stump up for a Wolfowitz-run Bank than one led by someone else?

I have not had time to go through the Wolfowitz statement and papers in detail. Readers can post their reactions below.

Alex Wilks ~ April 30, 2007


I think this link best describes my opinion of Paul Wolfowitz.

"Portrait of Paul Wolfowitz"


kevin larmee ~ April 30, 2007, 09:38 PM

“Only when the cloud of these unfair and untrue charges is removed, will it be truly possible to determine objectively whether I can be an effective leader of the World Bank,” the conclusion of his statement says a lot.
He is willing to leave but on his terms and conditions - part of which is to clear his name but most probably with a nice settlement for "emotional distress" .

Yul ~ April 30, 2007, 09:39 PM

Dear Executive Directors:

It is astonishing that PW did an abrupt turnaround from, "I made a mistake" and being willing to accept whatever remedies the Board propose to a flat out denial of any wrongdoing. Since his defense narrowly focused on the 'Rizagate' issues, it is imperative that the Board expand the investigation to a pattern of behavior by PW that cannot but bring the Bank into disrepute.

There appear to be a prima facie case that PW has a pattern of abusing his position at different institutions to hire / promote / provide raises / engage as contractors or otherwise provide material benefits for women that are unqualified or unsuitable for their jobs.

Furthermore, it is clear that he has had romantic involvement with at least two:

- An unnamed staff member at SAIS

- Shaha Riza

Entirely aside from the propriety of him granting Riza her promotions, raises, etc. the question is, has his behavior exposed the Bank to considerable liability and disrepute by using the Bank's resources to, in effect, fund his private harem.

While there has been no pubic discussion of his romantic relationship(s) with Robin Cleveland, Susanne Folsom and Ana Palacio, it certainly raises questions as to whether such a relationship played a part in the appointment of these women to high positions for which they have dubious qualifications.

Similarly, one of Wolfowitz's defenders, Ruth Wedgewood, who came to his defense in the LA Times, was appointed to the SAIS as a "Professor of Law" without any of the customary academic credentials like a terminal degree or at least, progress toward one. It raises an interesting question as to whether she was the unnamed lover that led to PW's separation and complaints to GW Bush.

The question for the EDs is not just Rizagate, but whether PW have had a pattern of sexual misconduct and abuse of his position / employer's resources that dates at least back to his SAIS days, and whether this pattern have continued at DoD and the Bank and whether it is likely to continue if he is not terminated.

Under such circumstances, if the Board does nothing now, the World Bank Group can find itself in the same position as Astra Zeneca some years ago, when their then Chief executive in the US, Lars Bildman, systematically used the company to fund his harem. Ultimately, this resulted in one of the largest settlements for sexual harassment in the United States. I do hope that the Bank do not wish to have the distinction of competing with Astra Zeneca for this honor.

The Board must set up a credible mechanism for people who have information about malfesance by PW, and indeed, all Bank staff, to come forward and have their allegations investigated impartially, fully, and dealt with fairly. It is clear that the present system of checks and balances within the organization failed miserably at checking PW and his cronies before it became a full blown scandal.

To sum up, the question goes far beyond Rizagate. It is about forged documents and intentional mis-representations to defraud the Board by senior officials like PW, Folsom, Cleveland, Palacino, etc.. It is about a pattern of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment for all but PW's loyal harem members. It is about the wilful disregard of the Board's directives to PW with respect to long established programs like family planning and newer issues like climate change. It is about violating long standing Bank guidelines to open an office in Iraq in order to appease the US government, which coincidentally, means putting Bank funds into one of the more unstable, corrupt regimes in the world. It is about the selective enforcement of anti-corruption programs against certain countries while other even more corrupt ones goes scot free. It is about letting the high priest of anti-corruption engage in the most banal, base, and vile form of corruption by, in effect, getting the Bank to pay for his women.

On these and many other issues, PW's submission have shown no recognition of his problem, no remorse, no conciliatory behavior, and certainly, no hope that he, in any capacity at the Bank, can reform himself, let alone others.

With PW in charge, the only reasonable assurance the Board can have is assurance that he will continue to divert Bank resources to his less than savory enterprises: his harem, his political agenda, and his cronies. If poverty reduction were to occur in LICs under his watch, it would be a testament to the quality of the Bank staff (or what is left of them after the purges that will certainly come if Wolfowitz survives) to get something done in spite of him, and not to anything that he contributed. PW's statement to the Board should make it patently clear that he is un-reformable and he has to be terminated.

Should the bank not act on this issue, the message it sends is that International Organizations are incapable of governance at a standard expected of any major multinational corporation. In which case, perhaps the best outcome would be for the Board to wind down the institution and privatize its functions?

None ~ April 30, 2007, 10:01 PM

"Similarly, one of Wolfowitz's defenders, Ruth Wedgewood, who came to his defense in the LA Times, was appointed to the SAIS as a "Professor of Law" without any of the customary academic credentials like a terminal degree or at least, progress toward one."

She has a J.D. from Yale Law School. Fact checking, people!!!

Dave ~ April 30, 2007, 10:18 PM

Actually, PW is not the only one using Bank resources to fund his personal harem. A few years ago there was an investigation into the bogus missions undertaken by a WBI manager, together with his girlfriend, hired by him as a Consultant in the same unit (the two went on made-up missions to exotic locales or included fancy stop-overs en route). The person in question was not "fired" but moved to another department, with a slight demotion. Now he is retired but back in IEG, as a consultant! There are many such stories. I agree with Naomi Klein that the ship must sink together with its captain..

Singh ~ April 30, 2007, 11:04 PM

The following is from article by Sarah Whalen, in the LA Times, April 30, 2007.

It states that Ruth Wedgwood "do not have a PhD or anything else". That would include a JD.

If anyone can verify whether she has a JD at the time she was appointed to SAIS, it would be helpful.

If she does have a JD or other terminal degree, I stand corrected.

See Whalen:

"Did Wolfowitz help Wedgwood get her job at SAIS?

Wolfowitz—an academic with a Ph.D. in political science, was dean at Wedgwood's neocon sinecure—Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)—from 1993 to 2001. Wedgwood, a lawyer with no Ph.D. in political science or anything else, reportedly joined SAIS as a "professor of law" (although SAIS is not a law school) "and diplomacy" (although Wedgwood has never reportedly been a diplomat) sometime around 2002. In one bio, Wedgwood notes that she joined SAIS "at the invitation" of Wolfowitz."


none ~ April 30, 2007, 11:22 PM

See the last line under the "Background and Education" section:


In all honesty, Sarah Whelan's article was gratuitous and silly. A brief glance over her bio indicates that Ruth Wedgewood clearly had the academic credentials to hold an appointment at SAIS. Moreover, the fact that she was invited by Wolfowitz is a completely ordinary example of how faculty appointments proceed in academia. I have, for instance, heard of seedy stories of happenings at other, supposedly more prestigious schools of public affairs.

Dave ~ May 01, 2007, 01:38 AM



She's conservative, yes, but she's also extremely well qualified. Whelan made an ass out of herself and, well, only played into Wolfie's argument that he is being subject to a smear campaign by ideological rivals.

Dave ~ May 01, 2007, 01:50 AM

Oh geez, now that silly piece from Whalen has been posted to the main page. Someone please get rid of it . . .

Dave ~ May 01, 2007, 03:50 AM

Um.... we got sidetracked by Ruth Wedgewood.

Suppose that paragraph were withdrawn from the note above (even though it was written in good faith based on what appeared to be correct information), the points made in the letter will not change.

Would the owner of the board be kind enough to "edit out" the Wedgewood comment?

Let not a small point in the letter take away from the overall argument: The World Bank has to deal with corruption in its own ranks as much as it has to deal with corruption elsewhere --- or it should be privatized.

none ~ May 01, 2007, 03:59 AM

That's the point: the argument that Wedgworth was a recipient of cronyism is so weak and misinformed that it only serves to damage the broader case.

Dave ~ May 01, 2007, 04:03 AM

Agreed. Dave. We are on the same page!

PW now face 3 rebuttals of his statement from credible sources (Ad Melkert, GAP, Robert Danino).

Whereas his earlier attitude --- contrite, remorseful, apologetic) left room for compromise, his latest statements and counters mean there is little room to negotiate for a face saving departure.

In multilateral activities, most seasoned diplomats abhor unilateral action or majority rule, preferring to arrive at a consensus (even if it is a weak one).

What PW has done is to essentially force the ED's hand to try hard for a consensus, but if it fails, to go for a vote --- a showdown.

The outcome is not in doubt ---- PW will be gone, either by 'resignation' or by termination.

The only question is, will the US ED vote for PW, or will they do the minimally decent thing, and just abstain from the vote.

My bet is the US will abstain on the vote to remove PW (either terminate or forced resignation).

After the materally false statement PW's lawyer put forward, there is little good he can do for PW.

Remember, Bennett could not save Clinton's hide when he lied under oath either.

Nor can he save PW who lied to him.

none ~ May 01, 2007, 04:30 AM

Hi! How r u?
nice site!

shadowman ~ May 01, 2007, 02:18 PM

Riza's statement is also available online.


Staff ~ May 01, 2007, 04:11 PM

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