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Research Staff

C. Fred Bergsten


Areas of Expertise

  • APEC
  • Asia
  • Exchange Rates
  • Globalization
  • International Monetary System
  • Trade Policy

News Release

C. Fred Bergsten

C. Fred Bergsten, Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus, was the founding director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics (formerly the Institute for International Economics) from 1981 through 2012. He is a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations and co-chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the United States–India Trade Policy Forum, comprising the trade ministers of those two countries.

Dr. Bergsten was assistant secretary for international affairs of the US Treasury during 1977–81. He also functioned as undersecretary for monetary affairs during 1980–81, representing the United States on the G-5 Deputies and in preparing G-7 summits. During 1969–71, starting at age 27, Dr. Bergsten coordinated US foreign economic policy in the White House as assistant for international economic affairs to Dr. Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council.

Dr. Bergsten was chairman of the Eminent Persons Group of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum from 1993 to 1995, authoring its three reports that recommended "free and open trade in the region" as adopted at the APEC Leaders' summits in 1993 and 1994 and now being pursued through the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He was chairman of the Competitiveness Policy Council created by the Congress from 1991 through 1995; its 12 members included corporate CEOs, labor union presidents and Cabinet officers who were appointed by the president and the congressional leadership. He chaired the "Shadow G-8," comprising top economic and foreign policy experts from the G-8 countries, which advised those governments on their annual summits during 2000–2005.

Dr. Bergsten was the most widely quoted think-tank economist in the world during 1997–2005 (the latest period for which such data are available). He was cited as #37 of the top 50 "Who Really Moves the Markets?" (Fidelity Investment's Worth) and as "one of the ten people who can change your life" by USA Today.

Dr. Bergsten has authored, coauthored, edited or coedited 43 books on international economic issues including Bridging the Pacific: Toward Free Trade and Investment between China and the United States (2014), The Long-Term International Economic Position of the United States (2009, designated a "must read" by The Washington Post), China's Rise: Challenges and Opportunities (2008), The United States and the World Economy: Foreign Economic Policy for the Next Decade (2005), and The Dilemmas of the Dollar (2d ed., 1996). His latest Policy Briefs for the Peterson Institute are "Addressing Currency Manipulation through Trade Agreements" (January 2014), "Currency Manipulation, The US Economy, and the Global Economic Order" (December 2012) and "The Coming Resolution of the European Crisis: An Update" (June 2012). His latest of 19 articles (the second most by any author) in Foreign Affairs are "The Truth about Currency Manipulation" (January 2015) and "Why the Euro Will Survive: Completing the Continent's Half-Built House" (September/October 2012). His recent op-eds include "The United States Should Work with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank" (Financial Times, March 2015), "The United States Needs a Free Trade Deal with China" (Wall Street Journal, December 2014), "Fighting Fire with Fire on Exports" (Washington Post, September 2014), "The Swedish Model for Economic Recovery" (Washington Post, August 2013), "Five Myths about the Euro Crisis" (Washington Post, September 2012), "Time for a Fightback in the Currency Wars" (Financial Times, September 2012), and "An Overlooked Way to Create Jobs" (New York Times, September 2011).

The Peterson Institute for International Economics, which Dr. Bergsten directed for its first 32 years, is the only major research institution in the United States devoted to international economic issues. It has a staff of about 50, moved into its award-winning building in 2001, averages half a dozen publications per month and holds at least one conference or policy meeting every week. The first comprehensive survey of 5,465 think tanks around the globe selected the Institute as tied for "Top Think Tank in the World" in 2008 (with the Brookings Institution). The British intellectual magazine Prospect, whose ratings are called "the think tank Oscars" by the BBC, listed it tops in the world (outside the United Kingdom) in 2011.

Dr. Bergsten has received the Meritorious Honor Award of the Department of State (1965), the Exceptional Service Award of the Treasury Department (1981), the Legion d'Honneur from the Government of France (1985), the Order of the Polar Star from the Government of Sweden (2013), and the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2014). He has been named an Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (1997), a Global Advisor to the President of the Republic of Korea (2009), and Swedish American of the year for 2014. He received the World Trade Award from the National Foreign Trade Council in 2013. He received MA, MALD, and PhD degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010, and a BA magna cum laude and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Central Methodist University.