Robert Zoellick

The President of the World Bank, Robert B Zoellick, is to deliver the biennial Roskill Lecture at Cambridge University’s Churchill College this evening, one of the most prestigious events in the University calendar.

Over the past five years, developing countries have provided two-thirds of global growth

Robert Zoellick

Mr Zoellick’s lecture is titled Modernizing Multilateralism: Learning from Military History. The Roskill Lecture is his first public engagement since announcing he is to step down as head of the World Bank.

He said: “As the international economy struggles to recover from the greatest blows since the 1930s, developing countries are compensating for the stumbling industrialized world.  Over the past five years, developing countries have provided two-thirds of global growth.

“As the world moves toward multiple poles of growth, multilateral institutions will need to play a role in connecting developed and developing countries to work cooperatively. The solution is not to abandon multilateral institutions, with all their imperfections. The duty of leadership is to ‘modernize multilateralism’ for vastly different circumstances.”

Robert B Zoellick became the 11th president of the World Bank Group on July 1, 2007. Prior to joining the bank, Mr Zoellick served as Vice Chairman, International of the Goldman Sachs Group. He served in President Bush’s Cabinet as the 13th U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005 and as Deputy Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006. From 1985-1993, Mr Zoellick served at the Treasury and State Departments, as well as briefly in the White House.

Acting Master, Professor Alison Finch, said: “The timing of this particular lecture, given current concerns over the health of the global economy, could not be better, and Mr Zoellick is the perfect speaker to talk us through the challenges.”

The Roskill Memorial Lecture was instituted by Churchill Collegeas the most appropriate means of commemorating the life and work of the distinguished naval historian, Stephen Roskill, a much loved and respected Fellow of the College for many years before his death in 1982.

The Roskill Lectures usually embrace the topics of International Security, Foreign Policy, the two World Wars, Public Policy and Science. Previous lecturers are Lord Carrington, Professor Sir Michael Howard, Field Marshal Lord Carver, Sir Brian Urquhart, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Julian Oswald, Mr Mark Tully, Professor Paul Kennedy, Sir Colin McColl, Professor Peter Hennessy, Ms Bridget Kendall, HRH Prince Hassan El Talal of Jordan, Lord May of Oxford and the 2010 speaker, Ken Livingstone.

The lecture is hosted by the Churchill Archives Centre, home of some of the finest political, military and scientific collections of the twentieth century, including those of Sir Winston Churchill, Lady Thatcher, Sir John Major and Lord  Kinnock.  For further information you can view the Archives Centre website at

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