May 18, 2007

One of Cornell's Most Controversial Alumni Resigns World Bank Post

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World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz ’65 announced yesterday that he would resign at the end of June after becoming the center of controversy again in the last month.
A special bank panel recently found that Wolfowitz “placed himself in a conflict of interest situation” when he became involved with his girlfriend’s, Shaha Riza, pay and work negotiations.
Riza was a bank employee even before Wolfowitz took over in June 2005.
While at Cornell, Wolfowitz studied mathematics and chemistry, but became increasing interested in politics, partially due to his involvement in the Telluride Association, according to a feature on him in Cornell Alumni Magazine.
The Telluride House at Cornell, part of the national Telluride Association, promotes leadership and public service among members. At Cornell, house members live and eat for free and are responsible for governing the house and organizing academic seminars and events.
Former Cornell philosophy professor Allan Bloom served as a faculty mentor at Telluride in 1963 and is considered to have been influential on Wolfowitz’s thinking as well as the thinking of many other Cornell students at the time.
Several other Cornellians influenced by Bloom now work in the “intellectual wing of the neoconservative movement,” working for think tanks or in academia, according to CAM.
Bloom was not the only professor to widely impact Cornellians now involved in politics. Recently retired Prof. Walter LaFeber, government, for example, was also part of the intellectual debate at Telluride in the 1960s, he told CAM.
For The New York Times story on Wolfowitz, who also served as the No. 2 official at the Pentagon, playing a major role in the planning of the War in Iraq, click here.