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IN-HOUSE COUNSEL KO-YUNG TUNG, WORLD BANK TITLE: Vice president and general counsel AGE: 53 THE ORGANIZATION: The World Bank is an international financial institution in Washington, D.C., that provides an average of $30 billion in loans each year to developing countries to foster economic growth and alleviate poverty. Most loans and credits are used to build a country’s infrastructure or to promote agriculture. The bank is owned by 181 member countries, each of which has voting power proportional to its shares in the bank. The United States, the largest shareholder, controls 16.7 percent of the vote. Before a project is presented to the bank president and then to the board for a vote, it must gain approval from Tung. CONTROVERSIAL PROJECT: On June 6, the World Bank approved loans totaling $193 million for a controversial $3.5 billion oil pipeline through Chad and Cameroon. Before the board gave its approval, Tung gave his, although he declined to comment publicly on his reasons. Critics say that the 650-mile pipeline may ruin pristine Cameroon jungle and create political turmoil in the region because of the influx of wealth. Tung did elaborate on his reasons for approving two controversial loans to Tehran, totaling $232 million, that the board approved on May 18. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had urged the bank board to reject the loans on the ground that Iran was conducting a “show trial” of 13 Jews on charges of spying for Israel. Noting that one of the bank loans was for improving health care for women and children, Tung says, “Whether the government is good or bad, I would not want to penalize infants and pregnant women.” Tung said that he is allowed to consider the rights of children and women when deciding whether to approve a loan project, but cannot take into account the rights of political dissidents. THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT: The bank has 125 lawyers, with most assigned to one of six geographical regions: Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Latin America/the Caribbean, Central Europe and the Middle East/North Africa. The lawyers, from more than 20 countries, are stationed in Washington, except for one lawyer who is in Indonesia. Another soon will be stationed in Lima, Peru, covering Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay. Beginning on July 1, the department will be restructured so that attorneys are assigned to projects based not just on geography, but on their expertise in such areas as the environment, energy and finance. He says that the change is being welcomed by bank attorneys, who sometimes feel “frustrated and confined” by the geographical structure of the unit. Tung also is looking to hire two attorneys to work directly under him. DUTIES: Much of the general counsel’s time is spent reviewing proposed bank loans to see whether they comply with the bank’s charter. This includes evaluating projects for their environmental impact and how they affect women and indigenous peoples. He and other members of the bank’s management team meet at 9 a.m., Monday through Thursday, to discuss the hot issues of the day and to coordinate their goals. He spends much of Tuesday and Thursday in meetings with the board. Bank lawyers provide member countries with financial, investing and borrowing advice. Among their day-to-day duties: meeting with officials from government and business to review draft commercial laws; determining whether a country’s investment framework is sound; exploring the details of a new financial product for the bank’s borrowing program; and helping prepare agreements for a bank office outside the United States. INTERNATIONAL LEGAL TRAINING: Tung is coordinating more than 300 bank projects designed to reform the legal systems of developing countries. The projects involve reform in such areas as Sri Lanka, the West Bank and Gaza, the Philippines, Morocco and Uganda. Bank attorneys, who often visit and become experts in the countries they assist, help train judges, lawyers and court personnel; help improve countries’ ability to draft laws; and help initiate public awareness campaigns to build trust in the legal system. “Unless you have an effective and fair legal and judicial system, you cannot effectively help the poor,” says Tung. OUTSIDE LEGAL HELP: The World Bank relies on many Washington, D.C., firms, including Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering for securities law; Arnold & Porter for tax and special assignments; and White & Case for international investment. ROUTE TO THE TOP: Tung was born in Beijing and grew up in Japan. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1970 and received his law degree from Harvard in 1973. His legal studies included a year studying Japanese law at the University of Tokyo. Although his ambition was to work in the public sector and “make the world safe for peace,” Tung was lured into the corporate world after a summer internship at New York’s Debevoise & Plimpton. “I really enjoyed it, and didn’t expect to,” he says. The firm hired him as a general corporate associate after he graduated from Harvard. In 1976, Tung and a partner formed a legal boutique, New York’s Tung & Drapkin, where he practiced corporate law. In 1985 the firm merged with O’Melveny & Myers. Tung became a member of the firm’s management committee and chaired the firm’s global practice group, an interdisciplinary team of 186 lawyers worldwide. The World Bank offered Tung the position as general counsel after a search committee, headed by former Harvard Business School dean John McArthur, recruited him for the post. Tung joined the bank in December 1999. AGREEING WITH PROTESTERS: On April 16 and 17, demonstrators stormed the streets of Washington and tried to disrupt meetings held by officials from the International Monetary Fund and the bank. The protesters argued that bank loans benefit multinational corporations and wealthy rulers without improving the plight of the impoverished. From his office window Tung saw the protesters dumping manure on the street. “I didn’t take it personally,” Tung says of the protests. “They’re misinformed, but their basic motivation is the same one I have, which is to help out poor people.” FAMILY: Tung and his wife, Alison, have four children: Vanessa, 21, Adrian, 19, Cameron, 15, and Gregory, 13. Tung lives in a hotel in Washington during the week and commutes to be with his family in New York on the weekends, so much of his spare time is spent with his family. Occasionally, he’ll find time to play tennis. He also likes listening to the music his wife composes. PRIOR POSITIONS: Before joining the World Bank, Tung was chairman of the East-West Center, a think tank whose mission is to improve the relationship between the United States and Asian Pacific countries. He also co-chaired the advisory council of Human Rights Watch/Asia. LAST BOOK READ: “Democracy as Development,” by Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate in economics.

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