Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
William R. Rhodes

William R. Rhodes

William R. Rhodes

Professor at Large
Member Emeritus of the Board of Overseers


William R. Rhodes is a Brown University professor at large based at the Watson Institute and a member emeritus of the Institute's Board of Overseers. He is formerly senior vice chairman of Citigroup Inc. and of Citibank, and he continues to serve Citi as a senior adviser.

Rhodes gained a reputation for international financial diplomacy in the 1980s for his leadership in helping manage the external debt crisis that involved developing nations and their creditors worldwide. During that period and in the 1990s, he headed the advisory committees of international banks that negotiated debt-restructuring agreements for Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. In 1998, when the Republic of Korea experienced liquidity problems, he chaired the international bank group that negotiated the extension of short-term debt of the Korean banking system. In early 1999, at the request of the government of Brazil, he acted as worldwide coordinator to help implement the maintenance of trade and interbank lines by foreign commercial banks to Brazil.

He has received decorations and honors from various governments and institutions, including an honorary doctorate in humane letters from his alma mater Brown University, Chevalier and Officer of France's Legion of Honor, decorations from Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Jamaica, and multiple awards from not-for-profit organizations in recognition of his contributions to international banking and finance.

News|Recent News

Rhodes' Book Delivers Lessons in Leadership

June 19, 2011

International banker William R. Rhodes '57 LHD'05 (hon.) lays out his principles for managing amid crises in a new book, Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Global Finance (McGraw-Hill, 2011). Rhodes, a Brown professor at large based at the Institute, is widely recognized as an international financial diplomat who led the resolution of economic crises in Asia and Latin America as a top executive at Citicorp.


Korean Ambassador Warns of US Trade Losses

September 21, 2010

Last week, the European Union and Korea agreed to implement a new free trade regime by July, but the United States lags behind on a similar arrangement. Yesterday, South Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo warned in a lecture at Brown that the United States faces resulting trade losses unless progress is made on the proposed Korea-US Free Trade Agreement.


Institute Roster Features New Faculty Appointments and Visitors

September 20, 2010

The Institute is entering this academic year with new faculty appointments and visiting scholars. Watson is building new research capacity in such areas as finance and religion in international relations, among others, as it also continues to host a changing cohort of visiting faculty and fellows from around the world to bring a diversity of views and expertise to bear on its exploration of the range of its global issues.


Monday: Korean Ambassador to Give Major Lecture

September 17, 2010

With the next G20 meeting taking place in South Korea in November and a US-Korea Free Trade Agreement advancing in Washington and Seoul, the stage is set for Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo's lecture at Brown on Monday. His talk, "Korea-US Relations: Past, Present, and Future," will be introduced by Brown University's newest professor at large, William R. Rhodes, a renowned international financial diplomat and until recently a top executive at Citigroup.


Institute Welcomes New Professor at Large: International Financial Diplomat William Rhodes

September 9, 2010

William R. Rhodes '57 LHD'05 (hon.), an international financial diplomat known for leading the resolution of economic crises in Asia and Latin America, has accepted a five-year appointment as a Brown professor at large based at the Watson Institute. Rhodes is the recently retired senior vice chairman at Citigroup Inc. and Citibank, and an emeritus member of the Institute's board of overseers. “At a time when international economic turmoil dominates affairs among nations and commands the attention of scholars and financial executives, Bill Rhodes brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the understanding of these issues,” Brown President Ruth J. Simmons said upon his appointment.


Talks & Media

9/13/13  On Bloomberg, Rhodes Says China Banks Need Liquidity Backstops

9/11/13  At the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China, Rhodes Comments on New Chinese Leadership

1/30/14 On Business News Network, Rhodes Discusses Emerging Market Contagion Part 1 | Part 2

1/30/14 Emerging Market Rout 'a Long Time Coming': Says Rhodes on CNBC's European Closing Bell

2/10/14 Emerging Markets Turmoil-- On CNN International, Richard Quest interviews William Rhodes about the emerging market turmoil and the Central Banks' responses