U.S. Trade Representative
Robert B. Zoellick assumed office as the 13th U.S. Trade Representative on February 7, 2001.
During his tenure as U.S. Trade Representative, Mr. Zoellick completed the negotiations to bring China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization; developed a strategy to launch new global trade negotiations at the WTO meeting in Doha and to press the negotiations forward in 2004; completed and enacted Free Trade Agreements with Singapore, Chile, Australia, and Morocco; completed FTAs with five nations of Central America and the Dominican Republic, as well as with Bahrain; worked with Congress to enact the Jordan FTA and the Vietnam Trade Agreement; launched Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the Southern African Customs Union, Panama, the Andean countries, and Thailand; and worked with Congress to pass the Trade Act of 2002, which included new Trade Promotion Authority, and to expand the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA).
During President George H.W. Bush's Administration, Mr. Zoellick served with Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, as Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs, as well as Counselor to the Department (Under Secretary rank). Mr. Zoellick's responsibilities included political, economic, and security topics in all regions of the world. He served as the senior U.S. official in the "Two-plus-Four" negotiations for German unification and worked closely with Secretary Baker on the policies pertaining to the end of the Cold War. Mr. Zoellick was the lead State Department official in the negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Uruguay Round, and the launch of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group. He played a key role in the Central American peace processes. Mr. Zoellick was also appointed the President's personal representative, or Sherpa, for the G-7 Economic Summits in 1991 and 1992. In August 1992, Mr. Zoellick was appointed White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President.
Mr. Zoellick received the Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State's highest honor. The German government awarded him the Knight Commanders Cross for his role in developing the U.S. strategy toward German unification.
From 1985 to 1988, Mr. Zoellick served at the Department of the Treasury in various positions, including Counselor to Secretary James A. Baker, III, Executive Secretary of the Department, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Policy. Mr. Zoellick received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of Treasury's highest honor.
After leaving government service in 1993, Mr. Zoellick was appointed an Executive Vice President at Fannie Mae, the largest housing finance investor in the United States, where he managed the company's affordable housing business; legal, regulatory, government relations activities; and international financial services. He also served as the John M. Olin Professor of National Security at the U.S. Naval Academy, Research Scholar at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and Senior International Advisor to Goldman Sachs.
In May 2002, Mr. Zoellick was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana. He also served as board member of a number of private and public organizations, including Alliance Capital, the Council on Foreign Relations, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the World Wildlife Fund Advisory Council.
Raised in Naperville, Illinois, Mr. Zoellick received a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 1981. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in 1975.