Peterson Institute for International Economics

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Peterson Institute for International Economics
Founder(s) C. Fred Bergsten
Established 1981
Focus International Economics
Chairman Peter G. Peterson
Director Adam S. Posen
Staff 60
Location Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, USA
Address 1750 Massachusetts Avenue

The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE; Peterson Institute), formerly the Institute for International Economics (IIE), is a private, non-profit, and nonpartisan think tank focused on international economics, based in Washington, D.C. It was founded by C. Fred Bergsten in 1981. According to the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), the Peterson Institute is number 10 in the "Top Thirty Worldwide Think Tanks" and number 9 in the "Top Fifty United States Think Tanks".[1]


The Institute was founded by C. Fred Bergsten in 1981, in response to a proposal from the German Marshall Fund.[2] It moved to its current award-winning building on Massachusetts Avenue in 2001.

In 2006, a capital campaign led to the creation of a sizeable endowment, strengthening the Institute's independence. Previously known as the Institute of International Economics, it changed its name that same year in recognition of Peter G. Peterson's role in the capital campaign and for his longstanding support of the Institute since the early 1980s.

In May 2012, the Institute announced that Adam S. Posen would succeed Bergsten as President, with effect on January 1, 2013.[3]

The Institute's annual budget is about $11 million and it is financially supported by a wide range of charitable foundations, private corporations, and individuals, as well as earnings from its publications and capital fund.[4]

Notable scholars[edit]

C. Fred Bergsten, previously the assistant secretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department, was the director of the Institute at its founding. Adam S. Posen succeeded him in January 2013. Another government official is Senior Fellow Edwin M. Truman, the former assistant secretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. John Williamson, who coined the term "Washington Consensus" is a current resident senior fellow.[5]

Other notable scholars and fellows at the Peterson Institute include:

Board of Directors[edit]

The institute chairman is Peter G. Peterson, former chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, former United States Secretary of Commerce, and one of the founders of the Blackstone Group. Vice chairman is United Technologies Corporation Chairman, George David.

Other prominent members of the institute's board of directors include:

Areas of research[edit]

  • "Debt and Development" – Corruption and Governance, Debt Relief, Foreign Aid/Technical Assistance, Technology and Developing Countries, Transition Economies, World Bank and Regional Development Banks.
  • "Globalization" – Politics of Globalization, Globalization and Labor, Globalization and Environment, Migration, Issues and Impact.
  • "International Finance/Macroeconomics" – Exchange Rate Regimes/Monetary Policy, Finance, Investment, and Debt, Global Financial Crises, International Monetary Fund, New Economy and Productivity, World Economy.
  • "International Trade and Investment" – Competition Policy, Corporate Governance/Transparency, E-commerce and Technology, Economic Sanctions, Energy, Foreign Direct Investment, Intellectual Property Rights, Regional Trading Blocs, Services, Tax Policy, WTO and Other Global Institutions.
  • "US Economic Policy" – Economic Sanctions, Foreign Aid/Technical Assistance, Trade Disputes, Trade Promotion Authority, US Monetary/Fiscal Policy, US Trade Policy.

The Peter G. Peterson Building[edit]

Peterson Institute for International Economics Building

In 2001 the Peterson Institute moved into a building it commissioned and built at 1750 Massachusetts Avenue ("Embassy Row"), NW, Washington, D.C. It is located across from the main Brookings Institution building, diagonally across from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and next to the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

The building was designed by James von Klemperer from the architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox. Like the Institute itself it is named in honor of Peter G. Peterson, and its state-of-the-art conference center is named in honor of the Institute's founder, C. Fred Bergsten. The sculpture garden is named in honor of Institute benefactor Anthony M. Solomon. The building houses several pieces of art donated by Stephan Schmidheiny, a former director of the Institute, including a sculpture by Joan Miró and a painting by Elizabeth Murray. It also houses collections of Chinese and African art donated by William M. Keck, Ambassador John M. Yates, and Anthony M. Solomon.

The building was granted the Best Architecture for 2001 award by the Washington Business Journal and won a Best Design award from the American Institute of Architects in 2003.[6] Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of State Stuart Eizenstat opined that the Peterson Institute building "is to international economics what the House that Ruth Built Yankee Stadium was to baseball".[6]


  1. ^ James G. McGann (Director) (January 20, 2012). "The Global Go To Think Tank Report, 2011". Retrieved August 18, 2013.  Other "Top Thirty Think Tank" rankings include #26 in Health Policy, #4 in Domestic Economic Policy, and #1 in International Economic Policy. By "Special Achievement", Peterson's rating is #3 in Most Innovative Policy Ideas/Proposals, #9 in Outstanding Policy-Oriented Public Policy Research Programs, #26 in Best Use of the Media (Print or Electronic) to Communicate Programs and Research, #25 in Best External Relations/Public Engagement Programs, and #10 in Greatest Impact on Public Policy (Global).
  2. ^ "Institute for International Economics Renamed in Honor of Founding Chairman Peter G. Peterson". PR Web. October 24, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Adam S. Posen to become new President". Peterson Institute. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ "PIIE donor list". Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Williamson, John. "A Short History of the Washington Consensus". Peterson Institute for International Economics. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Bergsten, C. Fred. "The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics at Twenty-five". The Peter G. Peterson Institute. p. 18. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′30″N 77°02′27″W / 38.9083°N 77.0409°W / 38.9083; -77.0409