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Jose Fourquet ’96: International development banking
Jose Fourquet is the 12th — and youngest — U.S. executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB is a multinational bank owned by 46 governments. Twenty-six countries in Latin American borrow from the bank, and 20 developed countries that have an interest in the region invest money so they can become a member of the IDB. According to Fourquet, “The people that represent each member of the bank are the executive directors. The bank is capitalized by a hundred or so billion dollars that was pooled together from these 46 governments with the sole mission of eradicating poverty in the Americas.”
Fourquet was the first person to serve as both the U.S. executive director of the IDB and a member of the board of directors of the Inter-American Foundation (IAF). The IAF, explains Fourquet, is an independent U.S. government agency that “provides grants to Latin American local governments and grassroots organizations. The money is appropriated by Congress and dispersed through the IAF.” Since its creation in 1969, the IAF has provided approximately $500 million in grants.
Before joining the IDB, Fourquet was a vice president at Goldman Sachs. For four years, he worked as an emerging debt markets salesperson in the fixed-income, currency and commodities division. In his last year at the firm, he worked in the office of career development, where he helped manage diversity recruiting, mentoring programs and career development initiatives. Prior to working at Goldman Sachs, Fourquet was an operations officer for six years with the CIA. He worked in Latin America and the Caribbean, where he collected, evaluated and reported high-priority intelligence of interest to U.S. policymakers.
When asked about what he felt he had gained from Columbia Business School, Fourquet replies “I reinvented myself. I was a liberal arts government employee who came out of Columbia a hard-finance investment banker.”