Robert Bruce Zoellick was born in Naperville, Illinois, in 1953. He received his
undergraduate education at Swarthmore and a law degree from Harvard. He worked in
the US Department of Justice for the District of Columbia, before joining the US
Treasury in 1985.
Zoellick's involvement with Cambodia goes back to 1991, when he worked on the Paris
Peace Accords. He served as US trade representative during Bush's first term, during
which time he assisted Cambodia's accession to the World Trade Organization. Zoellick's
last post in the administration of President George W Bush was as Deputy Secretary
of State, a post he held until mid-June 2006. He then became vice chairman of international
operations at the investment firm Goldman Sachs, where he was also chairman of the
bank's international advisers. His other private sector jobs have included being
a consultant at the now defunct energy
On July 2, 2007, Zoellick, replaced embattled Paul Wolfowitz as head of the Washington
DC-based World Bank. Wolfovitz was forced to resign after being accused of arranging
a raise and promotion for woman with whom he was having a relationship.
A Bush loyalist, Zoellick is credited with playing a constructive role in establishing
a strategic dialogue between Washington and Beijing. This was highlighted in the
press in January 2006, when Zoellick was photographed hugging a baby panda when visiting
the city of Chengdu. Washington's China-bashers were horrified, taking it as a sign
that the Bush administration had "gone soft" on China, but were later reassured
to discover that Zoellick had a special fondness for pandas stemming from a stint
as advisor with the World Wildlife Fund.
- Cat Barton