Richard J. Rowden

Rethinking Bretton Woods Project
Director, Rethinking Bretton Woods Project

Rick Rowden became the fourth director of the Rethinking Bretton Woods Project in September 2017. He has over 20 years of experience in academic, international civil society and social advocacy organizations, and United Nations agencies in the areas of international economics, global integration, foreign aid, and national economic development policies in developing countries.
Rick has extensive experience working on issues related to the global financial architecture and trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) policies, particularly their impact on the national economic development strategies of developing economies. He has also advocated for policy and governance reforms at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank; explored how macroeconomic policies impact health, education, and other national budget categories; supported rights-based approaches to development through civil society engagement in economic policies; and examined the nexus between human rights and international economic policy.
Rick is the author of The Deadly Ideas of Neoliberalism: How the IMF has Undermined Public Health and the Fight Against AIDS (London: Zed Books, 2009), which The Washington Post recommended as among five things to read to understand the role of the IMF in the 2014 Ebola outbreak. He has published articles in anthologies and The Lancet, Health and Human Rights, Human Geography, Review of African Political Economy, Global Social Policy, International Journal of Health Services and The Berkeley Journal of Sociology. He has also contributed regularly to popular publications such as Foreign Policy and The Guardian and writes for a new United Kingdom magazine on alternative economic ideas, The Mint.
More recently, Rick has been researching the role of emerging market economies in the global economy and specializing in the new field of South-South economic relations. He is completing his Ph.D. in economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, where his dissertation focuses on India-Africa economic relations and the developmental impact of India’s foreign aid, trade, and FDI in Africa.
Rick earned his B.A. and M.A. in international relations, both from San Francisco State University, and he lectured in global studies at California State University, Monterey Bay, and political science at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Thought Leadership

  • International Finance Institutions
  • Debt Reduction
  • Global Governance