WTO boss to head international "think tank"

Andrew Stoler.

Andrew Stoler.
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Friday, 6 December 2002

A former Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization has been appointed to the University of Adelaide to head a major new "think tank", which aims to boost South Australia's reputation for business expertise.

The new Institute of International Business, Economics and Law will be jointly funded by the University of Adelaide and the State Government of South Australia.

Both the University and the Government are committing $1 million each over the next four years, with further funding for the Institute expected to result from its relations with international organisations, government agencies and the private sector, research and consultancy work.

The Institute, which begins operations in January next year, is dedicated to the advancement of study in support of those who work in today's global economy, whether they be in business, government or academia and aims to:

  • provide research and teaching in international trade, business, investment, economics and marketing through postgraduate degree programs, executive short courses and business seminars
  • provide expert consultancy services to the public and private sectors
  • build special relationships with State and Commonwealth governments, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Trade Organization, AusAid, Austrade and other agencies
  • develop a reputation as a "think tank" of international standing through research and policy advice on economic, trade and legal issues connected with the evolution of the modern regional and global business environment
  • enhance Adelaide's appeal as an education destination for international students

The Executive Director of the Institute is Mr Andrew Stoler, who until recently served as Deputy Director-General at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Mr Stoler has extensive experience in international trade, and has served in key roles with the United States Government since the 1970s dealing with foreign and domestic trade issues (see bio below).

His appointment builds on the ties that already exist between South Australia and the WTO (former WTO Director-General Mr Mike Moore is an Adjunct Professor of the University of Adelaide's School of Economics).

Mr Stoler, who is a graduate of George Washington University and Georgetown University in the United States, will also be appointed an Adjunct Professor of the University of Adelaide.

An American citizen, Mr Stoler is married to an Australian. His wife, Christine, is an international lawyer who comes from Adelaide and is also a Law graduate of the University of Adelaide. They have a teenage daughter, Angela.

Mr Stoler says he is looking forward to settling in Adelaide and taking on the new position.

"International trade is critically important for Australia and particularly for the State of South Australia. The establishment of this Institute recognises this and I intend to work hard to advance the interests of the community in the global economy.

"Having been involved in the negotiation of international trade issues on a daily basis for many years, it will be a refreshing change to work with a team of dedicated and enthusiastic individuals who can provide the best teaching and research in these fields," Mr Stoler says.

"With the Institute based at the University of Adelaide, there are real opportunities to build on the University's reputation as a provider of quality education, research and consultancy, and to establish Adelaide as a centre for international business expertise.

"I am deeply honoured by my appointment to this position."

Mr Stoler says the Institute will build on the strengths of the University's business, economics and law schools, and in particular on the Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES) in the School of Economics. It is envisaged that the CIES will be the first of several School-based research centres to become affiliated with the Institute.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McWha, says he welcomes Mr Stoler's appointment and the creation of the new Institute.

"This endeavour will foster closer links between the University, government, business and the community, and will provide one more reason for students to make Adelaide their first choice for study," Professor McWha says.

Andrew Stoler

Mr Andrew L. Stoler has had a distinguished international career. His most recent appointment was as Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, from November 1999 until October 2002. In this capacity, Mr Stoler played a central role at the WTO in the 2001 launch of the Doha Round of Multilateral Trade negotiations and in overseeing the framework for the global trading system.

Prior to his WTO appointment, Mr Stoler had worked for the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Executive Office of the President, for almost 20 years, having joined USTR in early 1980. For just over 10 years of that he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Geneva, Switzerland, Office of the USTR. During the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, Mr Stoler was principal US negotiator for the Agreement Establishing the WTO.

Mr Stoler is a Senior Advisor to the Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Centre. In the past, his other positions have included: Chairman of the Working Party on the Accession to the WTO of Ukraine, Deputy Chairman of the WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements, Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for Europe and the Mediterranean in the Washington office of USTR, Chair of the US Government's Inter-agency Task Force on the European Community's "Internal Market" program, and MTN Codes Coordinator in the Geneva USTR office. His first assignment in the USTR was as Director for Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

He holds an MBA in International Business from George Washington University and a BSc in International Economic Affairs from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.


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