C. Fred Bergsten has been director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics since its creation in 1981. The Institute is the only major research institution in the United States devoted to international economic issues. It has been called "the most influential think tank on the planet," has a staff of about 50, moved into its award-winning new building in 2001, averages two or three publications per month, and holds at least one conference or policy meeting every week. Dr. Bergsten has been the most widely quoted think-tank economist in the world over the eight-year period 1997–2005. He testifies frequently before Congress and appears often on television. He was ranked 37 in the top 50 "Who Really Moves the Markets?" (Fidelity Investment’s Worth), with Alan Greenspan ranked first, and as "one of the ten people who can change your life" in USA Today, along with the inventor of the World Wide Web and the discoverer of ozone layer depletion.
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. He has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution (1972–76), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1981), and the Council on Foreign Relations (1967–68). He is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations and co-chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the United States–India Trade Policy Forum. 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 by 2010 and 2020" as adopted at the APEC summits in 1993 and 1994. He was also chairman of the Competitiveness Policy Council created by the Congress from 1991 through 1995. Dr. Bergsten was a member of the two leading commissions on reform of the international monetary system: the Independent Task Force on The Future International Financial Architecture, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (1999), and the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission created by Congress (2000, on which he led the dissenting minority).
Dr. Bergsten has authored, coauthored, or edited 40 books on international economic issues, including The Long-Term International Economic Position of the United States (2009); China’s Rise: Challenges and Opportunities (2008); and The United States and the World Economy: Foreign Economic Policy for the Next Decade (2005). His latest of 17 articles in Foreign Affairs is "The Deficits and the Dollar: What Washington Must Do to Prevent the Next Crisis" (November 2009). Recent op-eds include "Why The World Needs Three Global Currencies" (Financial Times, February 2011), "Obama Has to Tell Beijing Some Hard Truths" (Financial Times, November 2010), "What Obama Can Offer in India" (The Washington Post, October 2010), "We Can Fight Fire with Fire on the Renminbi" (Financial Times, October 2010), "New Imbalances Will Threaten Global Recovery" (Financial Times, June 2010).
Dr. Bergsten has received the Meritorious Honor Award of the Department of State, the Exceptional Service Award of the Treasury Department, and the Legion d’Honneur from the Government of France. He has been named an honorary fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Dr. Bergsten received MA, MALD, and PhD degrees and its Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award (2010) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA magna cum laude and honorary doctor of humane letters from Central Methodist University.