Bridges: Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace

Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, former President of The World Bank

launch streaming video of mr james wolfensohn's previous lecture taken last march 06, 2008De La Salle University hosted the former World Bank President Mr. James D. Wolfenson's lecture "Beyond East-West, North-South–Peace and Prosperity in a four speed world" last March 6 at the Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium.

Wolfensohn's talk is part of Bridges: Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace lecture series, hosted through the International Peace Foundation. Washington SyCip, founder of the SGV Group and of the Asian Institute of Management is the Philippine honorary chairman of Bridges, while Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chair and CEO of the Ayala Corporation, is the program's Philippine chairman. Bridges aims to facilitate and strengthen dialogue and communication between societies in Southeast Asia as well as with people in other parts of the world.

Mr. James D. Wolfensohn is the Chairman of Wolfensohn & Company, LLC, a private investment firm and an advisor to corporations and governments. He is Chairman of the Citigroup International Advisory Board and advisor to Citigroup's senior management on global strategy and on international matters.

Mr. Wolfensohn was the ninth president of the World Bank Group (since 1995). On May 31, 2005, at the end of his second term, he left office and assumed the post of Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement for the Quartet on the Middle East, a position he served until April 30, 2006. In this role he helped coordinate Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and spearheaded reconstruction efforts as Palestinians assumed sovereignty over the area.

Mr. Wolfensohn was the third president in the World Bank's history to be reappointed for a second five-year term by the Board of Executive Directors. As President of the World Bank he traveled to more than 120 countries in order to pursue the challenges facing the World Bank in regard to poverty and environmental issues. He successfully led initiatives on debt reduction, environmental sustainability, anti corruption programs, AIDS prevention and treatment. He developed activities on religion and culture and decentralized offices overseas linked by the most modern telecommunications system in the international community.

bridges logo: dialogues towards a culture of peacePrior to joining the Bank Mr. Wolfensohn was an international investment banker. His last position was as President and Chief Executive Officer of James D. Wolfensohn, Inc., his own investment and corporate advisory firm set up in 1981 to work with major U.S. and international corporations. He relinquished his interests in the firm upon joining the World Bank.

Throughout his career Mr. Wolfensohn has closely involved himself in a wide range of cultural and voluntary activities, especially in the performing arts. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University for the last 18 years. In 1970 Mr. Wolfensohn became involved in New York's Carnegie Hall, first as a board member and later as Chairman of the Board. In 1990 Mr. Wolfensohn became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. On January 1, 1996, he was elected Chairman Emeritus.

Mr. Wolfensohn has been President of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, Chairman of the Finance Committee and Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and of the Population Council and member of the Board of Rockefeller University. He is an Honorary Trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association in New York.

Born in Australia, Mr. Wolfensohn is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He holds B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Sydney and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Before attending Harvard, he was a lawyer in the Australian law firm of Allen, Allen & Hemsley. He served as an Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and was a member of the Australian Olympic Fencing Team.

Mr. Wolfensohn is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society. He has been the recipient of many awards for his volunteer work, including the first David Rockefeller Prize of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In May 1995 he was awarded an Honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the arts. Mr. Wolfensohn has also been decorated by the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Japan, Germany, Georgia, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Pakistan and Russia.