Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani

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Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani is Chairman of Mondoil Enterprises, LLC, a privately-held company active in international oil and gas operations with a focus in West Africa.

Between 1988 and 1996, he was President of Apache International, Inc., prior to which he served as Assistant Director for International Energy Studies, Energy and Environmental Policy Center, Harvard University. A former delegate to OPEC Ministerial Conferences, Mossavar-Rahmani has authored or edited ten books and dozens of articles on global energy markets. Mossavar-Rahmani is active in industry and international affairs, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Foxtrot International LDC, Member of the Visiting Committee on Islamic Art of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Member of the Visiting Committee of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Director of The Persepolis Foundation. He holds degrees from Princeton and Harvard Universities and has been decorated a Commandeur de l’Ordre National de la Cote d’Ivoire for services to that country.

He is also the funder ($15m) of the now-renamed Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard.

Apart from being a collector of Persian Art, Mossavar-Rahmani is a member of the American Iranian Council (AIC) [1] Professor Hooshang Amirahmadi, President of AIC, was among a small group of invited guests at the ceremony where Mossavar-Rahmani handed over the money. On behalf of the Council’s Board of Directors, he:

"congratulated Sharmin and Bijan for their extraordinary achievements and wished them the best in their noble efforts to bring business and government together in a responsible partnership for the betterment of societies worldwide."

Dr. Larry Summers, President of Harvard University, in his opening statement at the ceremony,

"thanked Sharmin and Bijan for their “farsighted and extraordinary gift.” He characterized the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government, the JFK School’s largest center, as a “far-flunked” [sic] center and an institution of “remarkable breadth.” " [2]

Mondoil Enterprises

Mondoil Enterprises is funded by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a government agency that provides loans and investment insurance to U.S. companies doing business around the world. Proponents of OPIC claim that the agency helps the U.S. economy and promotes economic development abroad. Vásquez & Welborn's Cato Institute study took a close look at OPIC activity in the past four years and undercut this rationale. They argue that the OPIC lowers U.S. economic output by transferring resources from productive uses to politically favored ones.

"OPIC beneficiaries are highly concentrated in terms of companies and industries. The majority of OPIC’s largesse goes to a small group of large multinational corporations and overwhelmingly supports a few highly profitable industries such as oil and gas, financial services, and power. OPIC activity is also highly concentrated geographically. A handful of troubled emerging market economies has received 60 percent of OPIC support in the past four years. The agency’s finance and insurance for those countries represented only 3 percent of their total foreign direct investment. In other countries that are unable to attract foreign investment because they do not have the proper policy environment, OPIC support undermines development by rewarding the lack of policy reform. OPIC’s record does not live up to its advocates’ rhetoric. Congress should abolish this font of international corporate welfare."[1]

Nearly all OPIC finance and insurance goes to large corporations, such as Citibank, Enron, Caterpillar Corporation, and Bechtel. Mondoil was given $25m for its activities in the Ivory Coast (Vásquez & Welborn, 2003: 10)



  1. Vásquez I. & Welborn J (2003) Reauthorize or Retire the Overseas Private Investment Corporation? Foreign Policy Briefing No. 78 September 15, The Cato Institute.