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News Release

C. Fred Bergsten to Step Down as Director of Peterson Institute for International Economics

January 25, 2012

Contact:    Steven R. Weisman    (202) 454-1331

WASHINGTON—C. Fred Bergsten, founding director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics since its creation in 1981, will step down from that position at the end of this year. The executive committee of the Institute's board of directors has launched a search process to identify, select and appoint a new director. James W. Owens, chairman of the executive committee and former chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, Inc., said the board hopes to name a new director by the middle of this year and to complete the transition to the new leadership by the end of 2012.

"Upon completing my thirtieth year as director, I have decided that this is the optimal time to arrange an orderly transition to new leadership," Dr. Bergsten said. "The Institute is in its strongest position ever in terms of its substantive capabilities, global reputation and financial position. I am confident that the board will select a new director who will enable the Institute to make even greater contributions in the future to a strong and cooperative world economy. I am proud to have served for so long with such an outstanding team at the Institute and on its board and nothing will make me prouder than to see the Institute thrive and grow under new leadership in the years ahead, which I am confident it will do."

The board has asked Dr. Bergsten to remain actively engaged in the work of the Institute after his successor assumes office, as a senior fellow and director emeritus. "I look forward to playing an active role in its research program for many years," Dr. Bergsten said, noting that one of his reasons for stepping down as director is to enable him to do more research and writing on a variety of international economic topics.

Peter G. Peterson, the chairman of the Institute's board since its founding three decades ago, praised Dr. Bergsten's leadership in establishing it as the most highly respected international economic policy institute in the world. "He is the rare triple threat who can provide and communicate substantive leadership across the wide range of global economic issues addressed by the Institute, attract and retain the best team of economists at any such institution, and effectively raise money and conduct the organization's other essential management responsibilities," Mr. Peterson said. "He is probably the most successful creator and leader of a think tank in the history of that sector of our society. I look forward to the selection of a successor who can strengthen the Institute even further in the future."

Dr. Bergsten is widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on international economic policy issues. His extensive writings have taken the form of books, articles, testimony, and op-ed pieces in major newspapers and magazines. Under his leadership, the Peterson Institute for International Economics has received numerous accolades and has attained a unique reputation among think tanks as "nonpartisan" by the press and politically "neutral" by the US Congress. Surveys of the world's leading think tanks across all issue-areas have consistently awarded the Peterson Institute the highest rankings.

Dr. Bergsten was assistant secretary for international affairs of the US Treasury during 1977–81 and functioned as undersecretary for monetary affairs during 1980–81. He coordinated US foreign economic policy in the White House as assistant for international economic affairs to Dr. Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council during 1969–71. He is now a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and the Advisory Committee to the Export-Import Bank, and co-chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the United States–India Trade Policy Forum. Dr. Bergsten chaired APEC's Eminent Persons Group and the Competitiveness Policy Council created by the Congress in the 1990s. He received MA, MALD, and PhD degrees and its Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award (2010) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA magna cum laude and honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Central Methodist University in Missouri.

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About the Peterson Institute

The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. Since 1981 the Institute has provided timely and objective analysis of, and concrete solutions to, a wide range of international economic problems. Support is provided by a wide range of charitable foundations, private corporations, and individual donors, and from earnings on the Institute's publications and capital fund. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006 and adopted its new name at that time, having previously been the Institute for International Economics.