who will be next World Bank President What will they do


More questions about Riza's secondment. Strange things about Riza's time at SAIC, State and the Foundation for the Future.

Strange things at SAIC

Strange things about Shaha Riza's time with US defence contractor SAIC in 2003 - she took a leave from the Bank and forfeited her Bank salary. Sources have suggested that she could have called what SAIC paid her 'expenses'. She told her supervisor at the Bank that she was going on a trip to the Middle East as a 'volunteer' (US Army Corps girl scout?).

Consequently, she's in violation of Bank regulations on outside interests / employment and her G-4 visa status (under a G-4 visa, foreign nationals are not allowed to work for anyone other than their specified employer - in this case the Bank). She may also be in violation of US tax law. G-4s don't pay US taxes. But she should have paid taxes on whatever she received from SAIC.

Stranger things at State

Stranger things about Riza's secondment to the US State Department two years later - apparently it was not sorted out at State. US NGO Goverment Accountability Project did a press release on 26 April about this, but so far, no resolution.

If you look at the documents that Wolfowitz released to the board about the secondment (the 102 pages), there's a letter from Scott Carpenter dated 5 October 2005. In it he says: "For our part, I would like to take this opportunity to note that we do not view Ms. Riza as detailed or seconded to the US government." After that, the trail goes cold.

It looks like Elizabeth Cheney and Wolfowitz cooked up the arrangement with Riza, and at the last minute State's lawyers looked at it and said 'no'. Probably because of tax or visa problems, US appropriations law regarding funding contributions for State, security clearance problems, or some combination of these things.

In the papers released by Wolfowitz, however, there's no more about this after the 5 October letter from Carpenter. And we know that Riza went to State. So the question becomes: did Wolfowitz & Co. simply ignore the legal problems? If Riza remained an un-seconded Bank employee 'assigned' to State, then Wolfowitz and Riza avoided the G-4 problem. In that case, though, Wolfowitz did not actually comply with what the Ethics Committee instructed him to do - move Riza out of his jurisdiction.

As a result, however, Riza then has no supervisor, no evaluations, no reviews, no one to whom she reports.

Stranger things still at the Foundation for the Future

Then in 2006, Riza goes to the Foundation for the Future (FFF), which is not a G-4-listed NGO (sometimes international foundations have this status).

David Corn, of The Nation, had this to say about FFF:

The foundation, which is not a US government entity, has received a $35 million funding commitment from the United States and about $20 million in pledges from other governments [Channel 4 News in the UK reports that $1 million was received from the British government]. The board includes prominent citizens of Muslim nations. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the only American on the board.

The foundation has not gotten off to a big start. It has yet to provide a single grant. Its first president, Bakhtiar Amin, an Iraqi who served as a minister in the first interim government set up following the invasion of Iraq, left the post after a short time in the job. "He was not up to the task," says a source who has worked with the foundation. No replacement has yet been selected. The group also does not have a chief financial officer or a chief operations officer at this time. Last year, it decided to open its main Middle East office in Beirut - right
before the war in Lebanon. It has no permanent office in Washington. Email requests for information on its activities have gone unanswered. Its website lists no phone number. But Ahmad, the adviser to Anwar, says the foundation will soon begin awarding grants, perhaps in the beginning of June. Riza, he says, has continued to handle the day-to-day operations of the foundation.
[This despite earlier reports that Riza is rarely in the office, serving 'more as a consultant'...hmmm, how very strange!].

Corn is less worried about the legitimacy of the FFF, than about the ethics of the deal Riza received: "Thanks to her boyfriend, Shaha Riza, after receiving a hefty pay raise, could serve as an adviser to a barely-functioning foundation she helped create, working with a friend of her romantic partner, and pull in $200,000 to $400,000 annually over the next ten years. And then she could retire with a $110,000 per year pension. This is quite a deal for the average
foundation aide in Washington."

Then there are the same questions about Riza's G-4 status and taxes paid on her income from FFF.

Another curious fact - apparently the WB gave a $21,000 contract to Anwar Ibrahim (currently president of the Foundation for the Future) from Jan 25 to May 1 2006 to "enhance demand for good governance." Sources at the Bank, so far, cannot find any report or 'deliverable'. Strange indeed!

Any more information on any of these leads?

Jeff Powell ~ May 11, 2007


I do not understand the $200-400,000 compensation range for Shaha. We know the Bank pays her $200,000 a year. Does the FFF top this up with another $200,000 a year? Please clarify.

Realistic Observer ~ May 11, 2007, 05:42 PM

According to David Corn assessment:
Wolfowitz's "Riza deal"included "a 36 percent pay hike—which raised her annual salary from $132,660 to $180,000—and guaranteed yearly pay raises of 8 percent" (She is now pulling in $193,000 a year.) during the terms (2 terms) of Wolfie at the Presidency post (10 years)

Corn estimates that Wolfowitz's "Riza deal" also "exceptionally guaranteed Riza subsequent promotions to higher pay grades" and "yearly pay increases" that, by the end of Wolfowitz's second term, would have Riza making "close to $400,000, possibly more."

Yul ~ May 11, 2007, 05:55 PM

Surely the World Bank will want to investigate this, as it is reflecting very badly on the institution.

When they do so, they will want to establish who is actually paying for Ms. Riza's very high legal expenses.

That would best be ferreted out and exposed by one of the Washington Post's writers ince it will otherwise never see the light of day.

I suspect that all we've seen so far is only smoke, and that the full truth is much worse.

On a related matter, one has been disappointed by the lack of full exposure of the doings of the other two women in PW's very close-in orbit, the Mmes. Cleveland and [Integrity]. Surely they are guilty of comparable terminatable disgarceful behavior.

The Mahdi ~ May 11, 2007, 08:10 PM

On Riza's future: what is important to stress is that Shaha Riza while working at the WB was heavily involved in political activity, even before going to Iraq on a DOD contract. She was working for the US Department of State, with Cheney's daughter. She was using her WB staff for the mentioned support activity to the State Department. In MNA everybody knows this. Now it has also been proven by many journalists. Bottom line: if she does not get fired for this, who will? If she is not fired, how will the WB be able to stop its staff to work for DOD of national countries? She needs to be fired to restore credibility. Also, what is said that she was an high-flyier is not true. She was aG level (senior level, quite low in the renks) and she was not well liked, as she was aggressive and has humiliated many people in MNA. Most importantly, her judgment calls (starting from the Iraq was, which she heavily promoted in the Bank) were to say the least questionable. To end, it is to be noted that she actively campaigned in the Bank for Bush's election, telling people and staff to vote for him (this is forbidden by the code of conduct, if I am not wrong).

Riza's future ~ May 11, 2007, 08:48 PM

The "secondment" to State may not have entailed becoming State "staff". World Bank staff sent to other organizations often remain World Bank employees but are "assigned" to the outside organization. They would continue to be G4 and also to receive their salaries from the Bank. The outside organization treats them as some sort of "contractor" or consultant. The State letter was probably just a legalistic way of saying she was not going to become a State employee in any way. This does not answer some questions about Riza's assignment: How did she get security clearance to work in State so quickly? Why did the World Bank pay her to work on US propaganda, providing the rich US Government with free "technical assistance"?

The very fact that Riza would not have had a "real" boss in State (where she was a consultant/contractor) nor in the World Bank is the reason why World Bank rules required that she receive an "average" (Satisfactory) rating and corresponding pay increases while on secondment. The deal to give her an "Outstanding" rating while on secondment was a clear breach of World Bank rules (and ethically outrageous as well).

The SAIC episode is very troubling. This is mainly because she probably did not get formal permission from the Bank to do this, and she also engaged in political activity. It was a bit of freelancing that was against the rules.

Gator ~ May 11, 2007, 11:45 PM

Three women, Iraq, and the World Bank: Clare Wolfowitz, SAIS girlfriend, Shaha Riza

Clare Wolfowitz is a class act. Her kind comments in the May 10 Washington Post Style section article about the other woman, Shaha Ali Riza, stand out in the sordid mess the same man has made of their lives.

Clare tried to warn everyone in late 2000 when President-elect Bush was putting his cabinet together about her husband's proclivities. Her personal letter to President Bush was intercepted by Scooter Libby.

Clare provided evidence of his philandering while Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and then with the woman he met at the National Endowment for Democracy (Shaha Ali Riza). She pointed out to President Bush her husband's attempts to cover up his actions and that he was susceptible to embarassment and coercion.

The evidence was damning enough that Paul Wolfowitz's proposed internal Administration designation to head the CIA was withdrawn and he was diverted to the number two slot at the Pentagon. That is why George Tenet stayed on as CIA Director from Clinton to Bush (and why now we have, in addition to TCS, the parallel "Tenet book - Richard Perle / neocons on each other" situation).

However, Wolfowitz was not to be denied the intelligence role he saw as central to launching the Iraq war -- he then set up the parallel Office of Special Plans at DOD under Douglas Feith (also now bickering with Tenet and both on the same faculty at Georgetown University).

One can only imagine what Wolfowitz would have done on Iraq had he prevailed in becoming the "slam-dunk" CIA Director. We will never know due to Clare Wolfowitz and Shaha Ali Riza.

These two women are central to understanding how we came to this point on the eve of a momentous ethics decision at the World Bank. But Clare cannot share her story and Shaha is not talking.

Not to be trifled with, Paul Wolfowitz put a gag on Clare. Through his lawyers, he forced her into a non-disclosure agreement. Even the existence of the non-disclosure agreement is non-disclosable. Her husband's threat: any more talk about his girlfriends and there will be no alimony or child support. Clare signed. He is used to getting his way and getting away.

Clare alluded to her inability to reply honestly in her responses to a 2005 interview for an article by "Mail on Sunday" reporters Sharon Churcher and Annette Witheridge: "On the claim that she wrote a letter to Bush, she said: "that's very interesting but not something I can tell you about." The reporters did not ask why not and, up to now, they have let Clare get on with her life. We all owe her.

The other party we have not heard from is the first "partner" while he was married and Dean at SAIS. Massachusetts Avenue insight is that the pattern is always the same: pick a subordinate, pay them off, shut them up. Throughout TCS we have heard nothing from victim number two.

Number Three, Shaha Ali Riza, now confronts great legal jeopardy, but sympathy is tempered. She went along as a fellow traveller, perhaps naively. Her lawyer should, by now, have made clear to her that:

-- she violated the terms of her G-4 visa when she accepted the 2003 SAIC contract. That is not something she can blame on the World Bank--she covered up her true activities from her supervisors. As a charter member of The Necon Cabal, she swept aside the visa restrictions she assumed when she gave up her previous work permit to get a tax-free-income G-4 visa when she became a full-time Bank employee in 1999.

Wolfowitz paid no attention to legal requirements when he order ORHA to hire her (or at any other time in 2003 and 2005 when directing Riza's future). He ignored the fact that, as a G-4 visa holder, she was not legally eligible to be "detailed or seconded" anywhere except to another G-4 eligible international organization. 2005 was a repeat of 2003 -- pick up the phone, tell Liz Cheney what you want, Liz Cheney instructs Scott Carpenter what to do.

While it may seem counterintuitive, the Department of State is not a G-4 international organization. Yet, as recently as his May 2 rebuttal to the Melkert/Danino statements to the Ad Hoc commitee, Wolfowitz continues to inisist (page 3) that Riza was "seconded" to State.

For his part, following legal counsel's advice, State NEA Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Carpenter continues to insist that, contrary to his September 16, 2005 letter, Riza was not "seconded or detailed". Both Wolfowtiz and Carpenter are in jeopardy if the opposite case prevails and the precise status has a determining bearing on Riza:

-- she violated IRS rules on income earned while working for SAIC, the Department of State and the Foundation for the Future (it must be a World Bank activity on which the G-4 visa is based),

-- she remains in violation of visa and tax law while parked at the Foundation for the Future, which the Department of State publicly does not list as a G-4 eligible international organization and the World Bank has no association with.

Riza has to go back to the Bank. Period. Or -- she has to do something else, not G-4. Thanks to Wolfowitz, her status in the US is now uncertain and her recognized career is a shambles. If Wolfowitz leaves the Bank, does she return?

Wolfowitz and Riza are no longer living together. He did not marry her, with great malice aforethought he arrranged for the Bank to pay her off and set her on her way, while he remained a decade at the helm of the Bank. The pattern is always the same, pay them off, shut them up.

In the first Inspector General ethics investigation of March 25, 2005 at DOD, Wolfowitz points the finger at Liz Cheney and Scott Carpenter. They, not he, ordered Shaha Ali Riza to be hired by ORHA. Now he argues that it was the Ethics Committee, not he that set in motion TCS.

Clare Wolfowitz knows better.

Public Service ~ May 12, 2007, 12:14 AM

The really sad part about PW is that someone in his position (with his rank, etc.) could have easily attracted his share of women who do not have conflict of interest issues, etc. from places he is not employed by.

A certain past National Security Advisor and Secretary of State is notorious for his womanizing, but unlike PW, his extracurricular activities never (or rarely) hit the press, or caused scandal for the administration.

Admittedly that was a long time ago, but times have not changed that much.

Yes, there is the internet, there is a much wider network of gossip that is harder to control. Unlike the days of network TV and a few national papers, there are now literally thousands of outlets.

Many political operatives today that are just as lascivious and more often than not, they have plenty of 'bimbo eruptions', witness the prominent pols that have had to be sidelined or resigned when it become an issue: Newt Gringrich, etc.

The issue is, most of these people are wise enough to not play sexual games within their own organizations, unless it is the former Governor McGreevy or Mayor Newsom of the world ---- who paid the political price for it.

The bottom line is: in a developed western nation, it is rather not accepted to have the mistress(es) or lover(s) on the payroll or have them paid off with the organization's resources.

Sure, it can be concealed for a time, but eventually, it blows up.

In retrospect, PW was more than wealthy and connected to have done this thing perfectly above board without using the organization's resources (at least overtly), but he chose to do it in a crass, crude manner.

None ~ May 12, 2007, 12:51 AM

Tell your hot source it's "citing" not "sighting". As for the supposed vote, I do not think the Board would be leaking all this stuff if they weren't playing a bluff. I'd raise and call. They will not have the nerve to do anything more than a mild reprimand, indicating (as the facts will show) that at most there was a misunderstanding. In actuality that hack Melkert is a snake and a liar.

clarice ~ May 12, 2007, 01:59 AM

When Riza worked for the National Endowment for Democracy, did she have a green card? This would make her work for SAIC legal as well.

for Gator ~ May 12, 2007, 11:40 AM

While Dean of SAIS/JHU Wolfowitz had a girlfriend, a young blonde, who he then helped to ge into Law School to get rid of her.

Dean of SAIS's womanizing ~ May 12, 2007, 12:27 PM


Even with a Green Card or a US citizenship, no employee of the World Bank above the secretarial level can work anywhere else without the express and written permission of the "Outside Interests" Committee--which is never given except for being just a non-salaried board member of "inherited mom and pop shops" or free-lance teaching assignments. Period!

Washingtonian ~ May 12, 2007, 12:37 PM

Keep in mind that WB salaries are net of US taxes. As a G4, (Don't Cry For Me) Shaha Riza is exempt from paying US federal and state income taxes. So if she were a US citizen, the numbers you see bandied about for her salary would then be grossed up by an income tax allowance paid by the Bank. So her 193K or whatever it is would, for a US citizen orking in the WB group, give her a gross annual salary of around 400K.

Joe Mama ~ May 12, 2007, 08:59 PM

First, a sincere thanks to all of you above who have provided such informative contributions, and a special word of thanks to "Public Service" for the May 12 12:14 am piece....it very much IS a public service, and wow, your's is a vein of gold to the journalists out there, and let us hope that they give your contribution much broader dissemination.

"None"'s succeeding piece addresses the issue of PW's pattern of liasons with women in his workplace. I too was struck by this pattern of recklessness and what it says about his lack of regard for everyone else at large.

And it brought to my mind a personal experience which I want to share.

In the early 70s I was just out of grad school and entering my first day on the job as a corporate financial analyst with a Fortune 500 company.

My boss and entry-briefer had been with the comany many years, and was an accountant by background. I came to appreciate his many fine professional and human qualities. He was from a small Montana town that evidently had a population of mainly real-life, working cowboys and miners, and coming as I did from the Esst and later West coasts, that made him for me a relatively exotic "genuine American original", evident in his humility, sharp intelligence, sardonic humor, ability to listen and learn before voicing his opinion, and speaking softly and not more often than necessary, but always witht the informed conviction that displayed sound judgment informed by human understanding and empathy.

But all that took a while for me to come to know and appreciate. On that first day, in our Monday morning half-hour introductory sit-down for what passed for corporate orientation, after covering mundane subjects and a brief Q&A whose substance I no longer can recall, as I was getting up to leave, he said "Oh, just one more thing. [What came next was my first exposure to cowboy-speak.]

"Here we don't buy our meat and our bread in the same store."

I was struck speechless, without a clue what he was talking about, and my look must have conveyed it -- you know, like that look of bewilderment when Goeorge Bush takes questions at a press conference.

I'm thinking - -don't they have super-markets up here? Though new in the area, I was sure I'd seen a Safeway. So to end the awkward pause and silence, I said finally, "Why not? I mean, that's a lot of shopping trips. Is [our company] in dispute with Safeway or something?"

Realizing he was dealing with a guy in his first day in a corporate job, and not from "around here", it dawned on him that I wass naive or at least, didn't speak Montanese, and he leaned foward and helpfully translated:
"Don't mess with the company's women."

Though I was a little surprised and wondered why it ranked that high in the new-boy brief priority, I came to understand its importance and how right he was, and I always followed his advice.

Too bad for all of us that Wolfie wasn't lucky enough to have had a wise early mentor like that, or maybe he just never listened?.

The Mahdi ~ May 12, 2007, 09:19 PM

PW comes from a Administration based on tha assumption that laws are for "other people" and lies are accepted forms of communication.

Jess Wonderin ~ May 12, 2007, 11:14 PM

Dear Dean of SAIS:

The young blonde that PW was sleeping with at SAIS that he got into law school.....

Would it happen to be Ruth Wedgewood?

I am rather curious why she is coming out so strongly in PW's defense.... is there a link?

Or just that he got her hired at SAIS?

None ~ May 13, 2007, 01:16 AM

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