Flash: UC Berkeley Appoints Former World Bank Executive to Finance Position

Thursday January 20, 2011 - 09:59:00 AM

An anonymous correspondent has forwarded to the Planet the following letter from U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenau, announcing the appointment of a former World Bank executive to the position of Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance:  


"It gives me very great pleasure to announce the appointment of John Wilton as Vice Chancellor - Administration and Finance. John was identified to fill this critical position for the Berkeley campus from a field of outstanding candidates in a nation-wide search following the move of Nathan Brostrom to the Office of the President. John is expected to begin his new position on February 1st.

John Wilton has extensive experience in both the public and private sector. For almost 25 years, he worked at the World Bank - a complex, global organization with an annual budget of $2Billion that provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits, grants and policy advice to developing countries for a wide array of purposes to assist their advancement, including in education. While there, he worked in most parts of the Bank, including operations in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe as well as in the Economic Research and Treasury departments. He also undertook two overseas assignments working on specific economic policy issues in Indonesia and the broader set of issues related to the process of transition to a market economy in Eastern Europe. In 2002, he became Vice President for Strategy, Finance and Risk, and two years later was named Chief Financial Officer. During this time he was responsible for defining the Bank's overall business strategy, overseeing its financi!
al policies and risk management functions, and ensuring that the administrative budget was consistent with the Bank's financial outlook and aligned with its strategic priorities. He oversaw a team of over 400 staff at the World Bank.

Since leaving the Bank in 2006, John has worked as a Managing Director and the Director of International Research for Farallon Capital Management LLC, a global multi-strategy US-based investment manager. He was also a consultant to Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm. John provided these firms with global macroeconomic advice and research on specific issues.

John grew up and was educated in the United Kingdom, where he attended the University of Sussex, receiving his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in economics and statistics. He then spent two years working as an economist for the Government of Tanzania before returning to the UK to study at the University of Cambridge for his PhD in economics. He was working on his doctoral degree when he left to join the World Bank.

John will play an instrumental leadership role at UC Berkeley at a time of continuing and challenging resource constraints, partnering with the Chancellor and the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost to set long-range administrative and financial goals, and in management of the campus, the development of campus policies, and the distribution and utilization of financial, capital and human resources.

This Vice Chancellor position has broadened to include leadership of increasingly urgent campus priorities: the continuing design and implementation of Operational Excellence, the campus's initiative to reduce costs and improve campus operations; stabilization of the budget; and the establishment of a sustainable financial model for the future. The focus on these goals as the immediate agenda led to a change in title from Vice Chancellor-Administration to Vice Chancellor-Administration and Finance. Associate Vice Chancellor Erin Gore will continue to serve as chief financial officer, reporting directly to John.

I am most grateful to Vice Chancellor Frank Yeary and Associate Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services, Ron Coley, who have set aside some of their other priorities to help us manage this critical portfolio, while we searched to fill this position.

I also want to express my thanks to the search committee, which was aided by the consulting firm of Spencer Stuart, for their outstanding work in advising me on this appointment.

Please join me in warmly welcoming John Wilton to UC Berkeley.

A press release announcing the appointment will be posted later today on the campus NewsCenter at

Robert J. Birgeneau