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Records of the Office of the President Deelarchief
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Records of President Barber B. Conable

Barber B. Conable's term as President was noted for the major reorganization of the Bank he directed in 1987 and the emphasis on poverty reduction as a central mission of the Bank. He identified environmental protection as an important goal, culminating in the Bank joining with the UN Development Program and the UN Environment Program to establish the Global Environment Facility in 1991. Conable supported an increased role for women in development and he appointed a woman, Marianne Haug, to his senior staff. Broad political changes occurred in Eastern Europe during his tenure, and he maintained extensive liaisons with international organizations including the increasingly influential NGO community. Conable also authorized the project to write a history of the Bank; Brookings Institution was given the contract for the study which resulted in the two volume The World Bank: Its First Half Century. Conable gave the authors access to his Presidential files, and the use of some of the files by the Brookings team is noted in the series descriptions.

The records of President and his staff are extensive. The minutes of his President's Council reveal the mechanisms of Bank management. The usual Annual Meeting files are supplemented by his country files and the records of his travels around the globe. The two series of liaison files show his political skills with varied constituencies.

The records of the Office of the President also include separate series of records of the Executive Counselor to the President, J. William Stanton; the Executive Assistant, Marianne Haug; and the Special Assistant, Anapum Khanna. The file of Conable's Executive Assistant, Jennifer A. Volk, on the lunches between Conable and Michel Camdessus, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, is a separate series, while within the President's files on travel and Annual Meetings are other files that Volk maintained.

Records of President A. W. Clausen

A. W. Clausen became World Bank President in July 1981 and served a full five year term. Shortly after he became President, Clausen established a Managing Committee to provide overall administrative and programmatic control of the Bank's activities. The records of the Clausen presidency are best approached through the official files of this Managing Committee, which provide comprehensive documentation on virtually all issues before the Bank during those years. Both Clausen's personal records of the Committee as well as the Committee's official records are part of this sub-fonds.

Clausen was President during the world debt crisis of the early 1980s, and throughout the files are documents about the issues of debt management and the Bank's programs of sectoral and structural adjustment. Discussions of a multilateral investment insurance program began during the Clausen years, which culminated in the establishment of the Multilateral Investments Guarantee Agency (MIGA) after Clausen left office. Both the Special Assistance Program for countries coping with the global recession and the Special Facility for Africa to provide policy reform assistance in sub-Saharan Africa were launched during Clausen's tenure, and the Clausen years saw a growing emphasis on programs in agricultural and rural development and environmental management, among others. Evidence of Clausen's personal interest in these issues can be found throughout the records, but particularly in the extensive set of alphabetical subject files that show Clausen's involvement with issues and organizations. Clausen's views are also evident in the chronological file of his outgoing correspondence during his entire time in office.

The country files and the itinerary files on official trips are good sources of information on the Bank's relationship with and the economic situation in the member countries. The records include photographs of Clausen's visits to countries and to World Bank projects.

Records of President John J. McCloy

The records of President McCloy consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence between President McCloy, the U.S. Executive Director of the Bank, U.S. political leaders, U.S. public officials, and prominent business leaders. The correspondence address topics of Bank operations and lending.

Records of President George D. Woods

The records of the Presidency of George D. Woods (January 1963 until April 1968) primarily concern international relations, including both briefings and travel. The correspondence file, while small, has several unusually revealing items, as do the retained copies of outgoing letters and memoranda. The background papers on each country that are found in the annual meeting briefing files provide useful snapshots of the situation of that country at that time.

Records of President Eugene R. Black

This series contains the records of Eugene R. Black as U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank, 1947-1949, and President, 1949-1962. They are arranged in five file categories: general correspondence, congratulatory correspondence, honorary degrees, speeches, and travel.

The general correspondence file contains exchanges with U.S. and foreign government officials (especially U.K. officials), private bankers, lawyers, foundation officials and friends, arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent. Among the notable correspondents are U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, U.S. Senators J.W. Fulbright and Hubert Humphrey, British Prime Minister Harold McMillan, and U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammerskjold. The alphabetical correspondence file is followed by one file marked personal action covering the period from September through December 1960; it contains letters congratulating Black on the publication of his book, The Diplomacy of Economic Development, and wishing him recovery from surgery.

The congratulatory correspondence concerns Black's appointment as Executive Director and subsequent appointment and reappointments as President of the World Bank.

A single file contains correspondence on honorary degrees awarded to Black.

The speech file contains letters of invitation and appreciation and, in some cases, the texts of the speeches. Speeches given include commencement addresses, lectures to professional associations and private organizations, and addresses to the UN Economic and Social Council.

Thetravel file contains correspondence relating to tours Black took as U.S. Executive Director and as Bank President to familiarize himself with present and future member countries' economic and political situations and to meet national leaders. It includes letters of invitation, itineraries, thank you notes, as well as letters and memoranda on the purposes and results of particular trips. Two files contain the records of Black's 1948 trip to Indonesia (then the Netherlands East Indies) shortly before it obtained independence, including background material on Indonesia's economy and recent political developments, newspaper articles, UN documents, photographs, and letters from government officials, business executives and Black evaluating the situation in Indonesia. Other travel files contain information on the Bank's role in the settlement of the Suez Canal dispute (1958-1959).

Records of President Robert S. McNamara

Robert S. McNamara became World Bank President on April 1, 1968 and served 2 full five year terms and a partial term, leaving on June 30, 1981. The records are a very full account of his long and active presidency. Every part of the world is reflected in these records, as well as virtually every economic issue of the 1970s. Any student of the Bank during the McNamara years will find reading these records an essential first step for research.

When McNamara came to the World Bank, it was lending about $1 billion per year. When he left in 1981, Bank lending stood at about $12 billion a year. In addition to the dramatic increase in volume of loans, he refocused Bank lending beyond infrastructure and projects to basic human needs and poverty reduction. Using the term absolute poverty, his annual meeting speech in Nairobi in 1973 marked a turning point by identifying promoting rural development and alleviating the conditions of life to the poor as crucial development goals. He identified population growth as a major issue for the Bank to address and the Bank began proving support for family planning programs. The Bank also began providing loans for pollution control.

McNamara proposed the formation of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which makes major contributions to increasing global food production and reducing hunger. He mobilized Bank resources to launch an international onchocercieasis (river blindness) control program. He initiated two international commissions to examine world development: the Pearson Commission in 1968 and the Brandt Commission in 1977. The Joint Ministerial Committee of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries, usually known as the Development Committee, was established in 1974 to support international cooperation in development activities and coordination of international efforts in finance development, and to provide advice to the Board of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on all aspects of the transfer of real resources to developing countries. And in 1978 the World Development Report was launched, the Bank's flagship publication on development issues.

Records of all these activities can be found in the records of the McNamara presidency. An unusually large number of records are annotated by McNamara, providing unparalleled insight into the thinking and decision-making processes of the president.

The records also include files form assistants to the President, notably two series from economic adviser Irving S. Friedman that include his correspondence with both President George Woods and President McNamara.

Records of President Lewis T. Preston

Lewis T. Preston became President of the World Bank on 1 September 1991 and resigned on 4 May 1995. Relatively few records from his term exist. One of Preston's first decisions was to suspend the President's Council, and as a result there are no formal records of the interaction of the highest levels of management. Furthermore, Preston was in ill health and retired before finishing his term. He continued to make speeches and undertook some business travel, but the files on those activities are noticeably fuller in the early years of his tenure. No subject files exist, nor do files on his liaison activities with United Nations organizations, non-government institutions, and international banks. The few files on liaison with the U.S. Government are thin, but there is additional information on this relationship in the records of the Counselor to the President, Matthew F. McHugh.

The most complete files are those on Member countries. These include information on Bank projects in the countries, reports of discussions with country representatives, agendas for meetings, and other representational matters. The files on the Annual Meetings have some unusually interesting briefings for Preston's meetings with financial and other institutions.

The important records of the Portfolio Management Task Force (Wapenhans Report) and the follow-up to it are part of the records of the Special Adviser to the President, Visvanathan Rajagopalan.

Note that a small portion of the Chronological File series contains correspondence and executive memoranda records from the period when Ernest Stern served as acting President. These date from February 1 to May 31 of 1995.