Pitt’s Thornburgh Forum to Debut Inaugural Discussions on Governance Lecture

Issue Date: 
September 16, 2013

An experienced crusader against corruption and transnational financial crimes will deliver the inaugural Discussions on Governance lecture, presented by the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy at the University of Pittsburgh on Sept. 24.

Speaker Stephen Zimmermann is director of operations for the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency, a unit charged with detecting, investigating, and pursuing sanctions against fraud and corruption in World Bank-financed activities. His talk will be titled “A Quixotic Pursuit of Zero Tolerance for Corruption: Must We Choose Between Fighting Poverty or Corruption?”

In his address, Zimmermann will discuss challenges faced by the World Bank in tackling corruption while pursuing an aggressive development agenda to end global poverty. His presentation will focus on a recent corruption investigation that ultimately led to the World Bank’s withdrawal from financing a major infrastructure project in Asia.

“The World Bank is committed to development with integrity,” said Zimmermann. “Only by tackling the injustice of corruption can we move decisively toward our goal of a world free of poverty.”

This free and public lecture will be presented at noon Sept. 24 in Room 107, Barco Law Building. Registration is requested because seating will be limited. Please visit the Thornburgh Forum’s website to register. The lecture has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one hour of ethics credit.

Zimmermann has made finding and stamping out corruption a career-long focus. He previously served as chief of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Office of Institutional Integrity and as interim chief of staff for the Independent Inquiry Committee that investigated the United Nations’ Oil for Food Program. In 2010, Zimmermann oversaw the creation of the World Bank’s International Corruption Hunters Alliance, a global network bringing together senior anticorruption officials from all over the world. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Maryland from 1991 until 1999.

Zimmermann’s talk will mark the debut of the Thornburgh Forum’s Discussions on Governance lecture, a series that will focus on timely issues relevant to governance and public policy. Future presentations are expected to touch on the operation of federal, state, and local government; the rule of law and law enforcement; human services and welfare reform; the U.S. Department of Justice; and nuclear energy and emergency management, with a particular emphasis on the lessons learned from the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, which occurred during former governor Dick Thornburgh’s tenure.

Discussions on Governance is sponsored by the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy, and cosponsored by the University Honors College; the Center for International Legal Education in the School of Law; the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration; and the Global Studies Center in the University Center for International Studies.

Established in 2007, the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy at the University of Pittsburgh fosters public education and civic action on important public policy issues, building on the legacy of Pitt alumnus and emeritus trustee Dick Thornburgh (LAW ’57), a two-term governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. Attorney General under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Among the forum’s goals are to promote able and principled governance at all levels, to advance the rule of law at home and abroad, and to assist the government’s response to the special needs of persons with disabilities, many of them wounded in service to their country.