Former WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wm. Wolff to join PIIE

April 1, 2021

The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) is pleased to announce that Alan Wm. Wolff, who just completed his term as World Trade Organization (WTO) deputy director-general and was co-acting director-general for the six months prior to the appointment of a new director-general, will join PIIE as a distinguished visiting fellow on April 15.

"Alan Wolff is one of the world's greatest practitioners of international trade law, applying his expertise and broad vision in private and public service to building the case for a strong, open rules-based multilateral trading system," PIIE president Adam S. Posen said. "Alan has been a long-time advisor to and constructive critic of the Institute's research and policy proposals in international trade, and we look forward to having him be part of our collegial give-and-take starting later this month." Posen noted that Wolff will play an important role at PIIE in developing reforms of the WTO, responding to the role of China in the international trading system, and to serving the needs of all countries in using trade to achieve economic prosperity. Wolff will also write a book on the future of the trading system during his visiting fellowship at the Peterson Institute.

Wolff was a leading member of the trade bar pioneering a team approach of combining economics, law, and forensic analysis to address problems in international competition, and has been engaged to resolve some of the largest international trade disputes on record. For the six years prior to his joining the WTO, he served as the chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), which was called into being by President Wilson in 1914 to support open international trade and which today represents hundreds of American companies who employ millions of workers. He has served as chairman of the Board of the Institute for Trade and Commercial Diplomacy (ITCD) and has lectured on trade policy and related subjects at universities around the world.

Wolff served as United States Deputy Special Representative for Trade Negotiations in the Carter administration and was general counsel of the Office in the Ford administration. He served as acting head of the US delegation during the Tokyo Round and was a principal draftsman of the basic US law creating a mandate for trade negotiations. As Deputy USTR he was a founder of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Steel Committee and its first chairman. He has served as a senior trade negotiator in, and advisor to, both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Prior to his service at USTR, he served in the US Treasury as staff attorney for the National Advisory Committee on International Monetary and Financial Policy, participating in the work of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, reviewing lending policies in the IMF and the World Bank, and participating in the drafting of the Articles of Agreement of the African Development Fund. He was director of the Treasury's Office of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.

He is also a lifetime national associate of the National Academies, having served several terms on the Science, Technology, and Economic Policy Board of the Academies and chaired its Committee on Comparative Innovation Policies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on the E15 Initiative's Experts Group on Trade and Innovation.

He holds a JD degree from Columbia University and an AB degree from Harvard College. He is married to the Rev. Helene N. Wolff. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Media contact: PIIE media relations and communications manager Michele Heller, [email protected].

About PIIE

The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit institution for rigorous, intellectually open study and discussion of international economic policy. Its purpose is to identify and analyze important issues to make globalization beneficial and sustainable for the people of the United States and the world, and then to develop and communicate practical new approaches for dealing with them. The Institute is widely viewed as nonpartisan. Its work is funded by a diverse group of philanthropic foundations, private corporations, and interested individuals, as well as income on its capital fund. Visit https://piie.com/sites/default/files/supporters.pdf to view a list of all financial supporters.

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