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Lex Rieffel

Lex Rieffel is a nonresident fellow with the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center. Before that, he was a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings institution.

In 2007, he published a study, co-authored with Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, focusing on military reform in Indonesia: Out of Business and On Budget:The Challenge of Military Financing in Indonesia. His essay on the remarkable political and economic transitions in Indonesia in 2004 was published in the September-October 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs.

He joined Brookings in 2002 to write Sovereign Debt Restructuring: the Case for Ad Hoc Machinery (September 2003), which remains the authoritative work on the process of sovereign debt restructuring.

Policy briefs presenting the findings of other research undertaken at Brookings focused on international volunteering, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Nigeria’s Paris Club debt problem and the roles of the IMF and World Bank. He is beginning to work in 2016 on a study of the role of volunteer service in programs to address the global challenge of urban youth unemployment.

From April 1994 to June 2001, Mr. Rieffel was employed by the Institute of International Finance as senior advisor and director of the Multilateral Policy Department. From 1975 to 1993, he served on the international staff of the U.S. Treasury Department.

His final assignment was directing the Office of Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union Policy. Earlier, he had external assignments in the offices of the U.S. ambassador to the OECD and the U.S. executive director of the IMF.

Earlier, Mr. Rieffel was an economist with the U.S. Agency for International Development (in Indonesia); a planning analyst at the International Paper Company (in New York City); a volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps (in India); and an officer in the U.S. Navy (in Vietnam). He is a graduate of Princeton University (B.A., economics) and the Fletcher School, Tufts University (M.A.L.D., International Development Studies).

Articles by Lex Rieffel

Downhill from Peak Globalization: When Will It End?

The world has encountered a series of shocks over the past 15 years. This should lead to more realistic expectations about the timetable for further globalization moves.

May 17, 2020

US: Don’t Obsess About Population Size

The U.S. needs to embrace a smart immigration policy based on the country’s optimum population size. That pro-environment, pro-productivity choice will be appreciated by future generations of Americans.

February 11, 2020

Governance Vs. Democracy

Why U.S. foreign policy should focus on “good governance” instead of “democracy.”

September 12, 2019

Liberating the World Bank (From the US)

Reforms to make the World Bank less dependent on the United States would enable them to be more effective

April 19, 2017

The IMF, the World Bank and the U.S.: A Brief History

U.S. participation in the IMF and World Bank was authorized in the Bretton Woods Agreement Act that became law in July 1945.

April 18, 2017

Bon Voyage, World Bank!

Why has the time come to move the World Bank out of the United States?

September 16, 2011

Obama Goes to Indonesia: It's More Than a Sentimental Journey

Why should Americans probably be more worried about Indonesia's democracy than its religious orientation?

November 8, 2010

Regional Voices in Global Governance: Looking to 2010 (Part IV)

What countries will be included in a new global summit system?

March 27, 2009

Regional Voices in Global Governance: Changing the G-8? (Part III)

What does the future hold for the G-8 and its membership?

March 26, 2009

Regional Voices in Global Governance: The Role of Advocacy (Part II)

How do powerful members of the G-8 advocate for smaller countries in their region?

March 25, 2009

Regional Voices in Global Governance: A Natural Progression (Part I)

How will forums such as the G-20 and the G-8 evolve to become more inclusive?

March 24, 2009

Dateline Indonesia: Barack, Hillary and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

What are the priorities for Secretary of State Clinton's trip to Indonesia?

February 16, 2009

Building a Better Global Financial System

Under what terms should countries meet in order to build a better global financial system?

November 12, 2008

Indonesia’s Democracy Lessons

Does the death of Suharto offer lessons in the limits of U.S.-style democracy?

January 31, 2008

Why Bad Loans Are Good For Africa

Why is the amount of lending China has committed to Africa so small?

February 13, 2007

Moving Toward Smarter Aid?

Can the Millennium Challenge Corporation overcome its slow start and recent setbacks?

August 19, 2005