Ithaca Blog

Friday, April 13, 2007

Paul Wolfowitz's World Bank Fight Against Corruption, But Not Necessarily All Corruption

by Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

When Paul Wolfowitz needed to leave the Bush administration, with the Iraq policy he helped design at the State Department flaming behind him, George Bush essentially kicked him upstairs, nominating him as president of the World Bank.

Wolfowitz was received at the World Bank with general disdain for his lack of managerial ability, diplomatic experience, and empathy for the poor, which the World Bank at least purports to have.

One of Wolfowitz's first actions was to cut off aid to a number of projects where he sensed corruption. He said that no World Bank funds would go to feckless administrators who would use them for personal purposes.

If so, Wolfowitz needs to stop drawing a paycheck. It was revealed this week that he secretly authorized a raise and a promotion for a World Bank worker, Shaha Riza, identified as his girlfriend.

The raise increased Ms. Riza's salary from $132,660 to $193,590. The promotion transferred her to a position at the State Department, Mr. Wolfowitz's previous employer, that is categorized as diplomatic, so Ms. Riza pays no taxes.

Mr. Wolfowitz at first denied any involvement in the matter, until a memorandum surfaced that he wrote, instructing a vice president of human resources to comply with the terms of the promotion.

Calls for Mr. Wolfowitz's resignation are growing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving the full story-- today's Ithaca Journal has a "short" that gives basically no info at all.

One thing that locals may be blissfully unaware of is that Wolfowitz is I believe, actually (embarrassed voice) from Ithaca.