Discussions on Governance

4/25/2013 - 9/26/2013
Pitt Law Room 107
 "A Quixotic Pursuit of zero tolerance for corruption: Must we choose between fighting poverty or corruption?"
DateSeptember 24, 2013

Stephen Zimmermann, the Director of Operations for the World Bank's Integrity Vice Presidency discussed the challenges faced by the World Bank fighting corruption while pursuing an aggressive development agenda. Mr. Zimmermann discussed a recent investigation of corruption that led to the Bank's withdrawal from financing the construction of the Padma bridge in Bangladesh and the innovative tools employed to try to strike a balance between the need for integrity and pursuing a transformational development project beset by allegations of corruption.

Mr. Zimmermann directs a multi-disciplinary team of more than 60 lawyers, investigators, forensic accountants, analysts and anti-corruption experts charged with detecting, investigating, sanctioning and preventing fraud and corruption in Bank-financed activities around the world.  Since assuming his position, he has had a leading role in developing and implementing an expanded strategy for the World Bank’s integrity agenda, including the introduction of negotiated resolutions of investigations, reforms to the World Bank’s sanctions process, expansion of joint investigations with national authorities, introduction of restitution and enhancements to the Voluntary Disclosure Program.  In addition, he led efforts to reach a historic cross-debarment agreement signed by the World Bank and four leading regional multilateral development banks for mutual enforcement of sanctions decisions. 

Mr. Zimmermann has served for five years as a member of the External Audit Committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization.  He has also been invited to speak and lecture on numerous occasions on the topics of integrity and fighting fraud and corruption.

Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Mr. Zimmermann was the first Chief of the Office of Institutional Integrity for the Inter-American Development Bank which quickly became a significant leader in Latin America and the global anticorruption community. He also has served as the interim Chief of Staff for the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil for Food Program.  Mr. Zimmermann previously worked as the Senior Policy Officer and Senior Counsel for the World Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity, the predecessor to the Integrity Vice-Presidency.

From 1991 until 1999, Mr. Zimmermann was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Maryland. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, he successfully prosecuted numerous complex cases involving corruption, financial fraud, tax evasion, health care fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering. He has worked closely with major federal law enforcement agencies, as well as prosecuting offices overseas. During this time, Mr. Zimmermann was also invited to provide training to anti-corruption officials in Peru and Ecuador.

Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Mr. Zimmermann worked as an attorney with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. His practice involved matters involving securities fraud, white-collar crime and civil litigation.

Mr. Zimmermann is fluent in English and Spanish.

This program was approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for (1) hour of ethics credit.

This free and open-to-the-public event was sponsored by the the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law & Public Policy and co-sponsored by the following University of Pittsburgh Schools/Units: