C. Fred Bergsten has been director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics since its creation in 1981. The institute is the only major research institution in the United States devoted to international economic issues. It has been called the most influential think tank on the planet, has a staff of about 50, averages two or three publications per month and holds at least one conference or policy meeting every week. Bergsten testifies frequently before Congress and appears often on television.
The assistant secretary for international affairs of the United States Treasury from 1977 to 1981, Bergsten also functioned as undersecretary for monetary affairs from 1980 to 1981. From 1969 to 1971, Bergsten coordinated U.S. foreign economic policy in the White House as assistant for international economic affairs to Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council. He has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations, and is co-chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the United States-India Trade Policy Forum.
Bergsten was a member of the two leading commissions on reform of the international monetary system: the Independent Task Force on the Future International Financial Architecture, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, and the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission, created by Congress. He has authored, co-authored, or edited 40 books on international economic issues, including The Long-Term International Economic Position of the United States and The United States and the World Economy: Foreign Economic Policy for the Next Decade, and has had 17 articles published in Foreign Affairs.
Bergsten has received the Meritorious Honor Award of the Department of State, the Exceptional Service Award of the Treasury Department, and the Legion d'Honneur from the Government of France. He has been named an honorary fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Bergsten earned two master's degrees and a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a bachelor's degree from Central Methodist University.