Wolfowitz' Girlfriend and her World Bank Promotion

Paul Wolfowitz, President Bush's former Deputy Secretary of Defense, is now President of the World Bank. Murray Waas reports a scandal is brewing over whether his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, was promoted in contravention of bank guidelines and given a raise to more than double the amount the bank's rules allowed.

Bank regulations disallow bank employees from supervising spouses or romantic partners, but Wolfowitz reportedly attempted to circumvent the rules so he would be able to continue to work with Riza. Informed by the bank's ethics officers that that would not be allowable, the problem appeared solved when Riza was detailed to work at the State Department's public diplomacy office in September 2005--even though her salary was still to be paid by the World Bank.


Before she was detailed over to the State Department, she was earning $132,660, according to bank records obtained by the Governmental Accountability Project. Had the bank's board adhered to its ordinary rules, as Riza was shifted over to the State Department, she should have only been eligible for a raise of about $20,000. Instead she was given a raise of $47,340, whereupon her salary became $180,000. Then last year, she received yet another raise which brought her salary to $193,000. That's substantially even more than the salary of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Wolfowitz is considered one of the architects of the Iraq War. According to a memo circulated by the organization that represents the Bank's 13,000 employees, employees are "expressing concern, dismay, and outrage" over Riza's favorable treatment.

An unresolved question: Is the couple still together?

The Washington Examiner recently reported that the two had split up. But Wonkette reported earlier today that the two of them were recently spotted making out after a party at the Japanese ambassador's house.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Until I got to the end (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Maggie Mae on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 03:31:54 AM EST
    of the post, I had something else to say, but this:

    that the two of them were recently spotted making out after a party at the Japanese ambassador's house.

    blotted out my original thought and now all I can think is Ewwwwwwwwwww!!!!!

    Seriously, though, I loved these two parts of the article:

    In the same memo, Cave went on to write: "This case sends the message to staff that the rules apply to everyone except those associated with the most senior levels of management. It also sends the message to managers that they may flout the Staff Rules with impunity.

    Sounds like Wolfy has set up a mini White House and is emulating King George.

    And this:

    And as to any internal probe taking place at the World Bank of any of this, no-one at the bank is expecting anything to happen anytime soon. The person who would conduct any such investigation, Suzanne Rich Folsom,  is a Republican party activist and long-time friend of Wolfowitz's. In appointing Folsom to the position, Wolfowitz had disregarded the recommendations of an executive-search firm which after considerable expense and time recommended no less than nine qualified candidates for the position to Wolfowitz.

    At least he covered his ass better than Fredo did at Justice.

    Who cares (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by agjobs on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 12:59:24 PM EST
    Hey they're Republican Neocons.   They don't need no stinkin rules.  That stuff is for all the little people put on this earth to take care of them.  How dare anyone question them.

    Aw geez.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 12:04:54 PM EST
    Wolfowitz has a (ack! ack!) girlfriend?
    Umph.. umph.. I'm hurling.

    We knew he is arrogant so this (none / 0) (#3)
    by JSN on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 12:50:20 PM EST
    should not be a surprise. How can someone so smart be so dumb?

    smart? SMART? (none / 0) (#6)
    by fairleft on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 10:11:17 AM EST
    hUUUh?? Haven't seen any evidence of that.