About IEA/History at Harvard

History at Harvard

 

HISTORY AT HARVARD

In 1997, Harvard University began hosting an annual U.S.-Russia Investment Symposium (US-RIS).  US-RIS was established when then Prime Minister Chernomyrdin of the Russian Federation asked Harvard  to create an event that would promote business ties between Russia and the United States.  The US-RIS became the premier event of its kind, drawing the highest level of U. S. and Russian participation.  It was supported by the Clinton administration and continued by President Bush and his administration.

"This Symposium is helping American leaders in government, business, and education learn more about the Russian business environment and encouraging partnerships between American and Russian businesses.  Your efforts not only are strengthening our countries' relationship but also are injecting new vitality into the global economy."

President George W. Bush in his letter to the 7th U.S.-RIS

CREATION OF IEA

The success of the US-RIS prompted representatives of several corporations and foreign governments to ask Harvard to create new Symposia dedicated to promoting economic relations between the U.S. and other key geographic areas.

In 2004, having carefully studied this possibility, Harvard concluded that this could prove an exciting opportunity.  After review and reflection, it was concluded that this new opportunity can best be developed and implemented by a new and separate non-profit organization that would take responsibility for future US-RIS and other symposia.

A new (non-partisan) non-profit called the International Economic Alliance (IEA) was established in 2004 to this end and it was chaired by Robert Mosbacher Sr., Chairman of Mosbacher Energy and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  The former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker was Honorary Co-Chairman.  Mr. Maurice "Hank" Greenberg then Chairman and CEO of AIG was Founding Member.  Van McCormick who was Director of Investment Symposia is Founding Director.

IEA's founding Advisory Board included Harvard Professors Rawi Abdelal, Robert Lawrence, Malcolm Salter and Richard Vietor, alongside business and government leaders such as James Collins (Ambassador to Russia ret.); Minister German Gref (Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation);  Secretary Jack Kemp (fmr U.S. Vice Presidential candidate); Donald Kendall (co-founder of PepsiCo); Thomas Pickering (SVP International Boeing and former US Amb. to 6 countries and the UN); The Honorable Mr. Paul Volcker (fmr Chairman of US Federal Reserve) and Robert Wussler (co-founder of CNN).

In 2007, IEA welcomed two new co-chairs of IEA's Advisory Board: Ambassador Thomas Pickering and The Honorable Jack Kemp.  In 2009, The Honorable Paul Volcker joined as Co-Chairman.

 

BUILDING ON A MODEL OF SUCCESS

IEA has built on its model of success from its original Russian Investment Symposium.  It has expanded into multilateral Symposia dedicated to helping facilitate solutions to global business challenges.  IEA's convening of impartial and business-focused Symposia helps advance global trade, investment, and business relations among all nations.

In 2008, IEA founded the Global Investment Symposium “Pathways to Prosperity” as a pragmatic annual event program for world leaders from business, government, finance and academia to explore investment opportunities and advance concrete projects.  The Symposia convened in September 2008 and 2009 at the congenial and results-minded atmosphere of the Harvard Club of NYC, officially during the 63rd & 64th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The Symposium features investment presentations by visiting Heads of State and Ministers highlighting business opportunities in their countries, followed by private meetings.  In 2008 and 2009, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, European Union Presidency, Israel, Qatar, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, and the USA took part, with Brazil, Canada, the European Commission, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Russia and Tanzania as observer countries. The Symposium shows the commitment of Heads of State/Ministers to the development of their economies.

The Symposium also includes Business Discussions that are moderated by Harvard Business School Professors and have included business leaders like, Mosaic CEO James Prokopanko, Barclay’s Capital Chairman Archibald Cox, UBS Vice Chairman Senator Phil Gramm, SilverLake co-CEO Glenn Hutchins, Intel's Chairman Craig Barrett and billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens.