Peter Eigen

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Peter Eigen, formerly a Visiting Scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is the co-founder of Transparency International (TI).[1] The Carnegie Endowment has a focus on global governance, accountability and transparency as well as corruption and money laundering, with the aim of increasing government accountability and curbing corruption.[2]

A lawyer by training, Eigen previously worked as a World Bank manager of programs in Africa and Latin America. He also worked with the Ford Foundation to provide legal and technical assistance to the governments of Botswana and Namibia.[3]

In 2005, Eigen retired from being Chair of the board of Directors of TI, although he remains chair of the Advisory Council.[4]

Eigen has a controversial background.

US Propaganda in Haiti

In 2003, an article in the Black Commentator documented a process whereby negative propaganda in the US media softened the ground for subversion and an eventual power grab by the Washington-sponsored opposition in Haiti, the Democratic Convergence. It said:

In a series of press releases and articles over the past three months, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and journalists have bombarded the press to justify one common theme: violent regime change is acceptable, if not inevitable, in Haiti. The main themes of this media spin cycling through the press today should be more than familiar to those who follow Haiti in the news: politicization of the Haitian police force, Lavalas grassroots organizations cast as armed gangs, and government corruption.

The report Eigen’s Transparency International’s (TI) attempts to destroy the Haitian government’s credibility, by labelling Haiti the third most corrupt nation in the world, and quoted British organisations on the left as identifying it as “a tool to destabilise Governments for corporate interests under the guise of exposing corruption.”

The report noted that Eigen was funded by the Ford Foundation that had close links with the CIA:

“A U.S. Congressional investigation in 1976 revealed that nearly 50% of the 700 grants in the field of international activities by the principal foundations were funded by the CIA. The CIA considers foundations such as Ford "The best and most plausible kind of funding cover". The collaboration of respectable and prestigious foundations, according to one former CIA operative, allowed the Agency to fund "a seemingly limitless range of covert action programs affecting youth groups, labor unions, universities, publishing houses and other private institutions". The latter included "human rights" groups beginning in the 1950s to the present. One of the most important "private foundations" collaborating with the CIA over a significant span of time in major projects in the cultural Cold War is the Ford Foundation.” [1]

Crown Agents

Peter Eigen is also a trustee of the British Crown Agents, who were represented by Altech in Haiti, and whose legal consultant, Gerard Gourgue, is the provisional president of the Washington-backed Democratic Convergence in Haiti. This calls into question the objectivity of Transparency International’s so-called ‘Corruption Index’ when it comes to Haiti and other countries. [2]

Continuing corruption in Kenya

In Kenya after the new government proved worse that its predecessor, TI was embroiled in another corruption scandal. Peter Eigen stated to the BBC's World Business Report that: "We lost credibility because of our close friendship with the people around President Kibaki and that went so far that it became difficult for us to speak up about things that we didn't like." [3]

The UK high commissioner to Kenya, Edward Clay, said that corruption had cost Kenya hundreds of millions of dollars since Mr Kibaki took office in December 2002. He added that corrupt ministers were "eating like gluttons" and "vomiting on the shoes of donors."

World Bank

Eigen was head of the World Bank (WB) in Latin America from 1983 to 1988 and has admitted that the IMF and the WB tolerated corruption at that time (prompting his resignation from the institution).

"These days, financial institutions have cast the more liberal theories aside to defend the social market economy. In addition, citizens now call for greater participation in the processes that affect their lives, which means more transparency in negotiations between the WB and state governments. According to Eigen, “We have moved on from the days when international institutions and national governments tolerated corruption, and the proof of this is that the WB has created internal bodies to fight corruption (in 1996), the OECD has classified corruption as a crime, the UN is also involved in fighting corruption…although civil society’s contribution is still vital”."



  1. Peter Eigen, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website, accessed 1 July 2009
  2. Peter Eigen, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website, accessed 1 July 2009
  3. Peter Eigen, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website, accessed 1 July 2009
  4. Transparency International: Annual Report 2005, p. 29, accessed 1 July 2009