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The tragicomic world of international organizations is the background to the latest book by David Woods. Everyone has now heard of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the ex-Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. We are familiar with the face of Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, as he and his staff seek to manage global crises. Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, became a TV fixture during the months before the Iraq War. For every familiar face, there are a dozen or more other influential, but largely unknown, personalities heading up a plethora of international agencies. Who are these people? How do they get to be appointed? What kind of lives do they lead? Do they make a difference, or are they just bureaucratic time-servers? And what about the diplomatic world in which they operate? Much of it is, frankly, comic. The worthwhile output of global agencies, and their leaders, is occasionally serious and valuable. Too often what emerges from protracted and largely meaningless multilateral gasbagging is laughably inadequate or irrelevant. Frequently, it is public relations froth. David Woods has reason to know. He has seen the good and the not so good of international organizations. As a journalist by background, he knows how to portray the reality. But he peppers it with a touch of fantasy. He does so with a sense of fun. This tale of a second-grade civil servant, nearing retirement, suddenly plucked from obscurity to stand as candidate to run the Agency for Sustainable Investment in Geneva. The motives of the British Government in seeking the job for him are dubious. But the Prime Minister reckons without the stubborn side of Stephen Dugoud. Dugoud finds himself in an unexpected world of perks and pratfalls, dysfunctional administrators, over-sexed diplomats, irreconcilable conflicts of interest, tricky ethnic issues and much more. Even his wife, Joan, turns out to be not quite the person he thought. The characters are fictional. The situations they find themselves in are less so.
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David Woods began his career as a journalist in London. He joined the British civil service as an information officer, moving between several Whitehall departments where he acted as spokesman to a succession of government ministers. In 1983, he was appointed Director of Information and media spokesman at the Geneva-based General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. In 1995, the GATT became the World Trade Organization (WTO). After leaving the WTO, in 1996, Woods spent some years working for a major US bank in the City of London. In 1999, he returned to Geneva where he established a publication and, later, a consultancy on global trade issues. David Woods lives in France and Chile. In 2010, he published The Bombardment of Paradise, a history book describing an attack by the Spanish fleet on the Chilean port of Valparaiso, in 1866.
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Book Description WTA Publishing, 2012. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 278 pages. 8.00x0.70x5.00 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk2954300809