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Paul Wolfowitz's Biography

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On 31 March 2005, US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz was unanimously elected as the 10th president of the World Bank, after being nominated by George W. Bush. Just over two years later he resigned from the post.

Paul Dundes Wolfowitz was born in December 1943.

Wolfowitz's father, Jacob, was a mathematician, who emigrated from Warsaw to New York in 1920.

Paul Wolfowitz gained a maths degree from Cornell University, where he met Clare Selgin, whom he married in 1968 and divorced in 2002. After Cornell, Wolfowitz gained a PhD in political science at the University of Chicago, where he was influenced by Albert Wohlstetter, a military thinker whose credo was to prioritise sophisticated arms technology in America's international relations.

Other important influences on Paul Wolfowitz were Leo Strauss, often dubbed the father of neoconservatism, and Allan Bloom.

Wolfowitz taught political science at Yale and from 1994 to 2001 he served as Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University. Wolfowitz has commented that managing academics can be like "herding cats and kangaroos".

He has spent 24 years in government service under six presidents, holding a variety of posts, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs, Head of the State Department's Policy Planning Office, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Under President Reagan, Paul Wolfowitz served three years as U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia.

In 1989, George Bush Snr. appointed Wolfowitz Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Pentagon’s third-ranking post.

In 1992 the neo-conservative Wolfowitz authored a policy document, entitled 'Defence Planning Guidance' to 'set the nation's direction for the next century' that President George Bush Snr. regarded as too controversial and ordered Dick Cheney to rewrite.

In March 2001, Wolfowitz was appointed the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon’s number two post.

President George W Bush's decision to nominate Wolfowitz to be the President of the World Bank, taking over from James Wolfensohn, did not go down well with the international community.

Wolfensohn, who joked "I submitted the name of my son and I think they got mixed up" told The Observer:

"I know Wolfowitz. I think he's a very intelligent guy. And I think he's got many of the qualities that are needed but I think he could do with expressing his policies on development and I'm sure in the coming days he will do that."

One other issue arose out of Wolfowitz's nomination. His girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza, works at the World Bank as senior gender co-ordinator for the Middle East and north Africa, and questions were raised in some quarters about the ethics of the President of the World Bank having a romantic relationship with an employee.

In April 2007, Paul Wolfowitz faced further criticism over a promotion he helped to arrange for Shaha Riza.

In May 2007, it was announced that as a result of the controversy, Paul Wolfowitz would quit as president of the World Bank on 30 June.

Paul Wolfowitz reportedly inspired a character in Saul Bellow's novel, Ravelstein.

Wolfowitz was listed in Prospect Magazine's 100 Greatest Thinkers.

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