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A. W. Clausen Center for World Business

A.W. “Tom” Clausen

As a child in Hamilton, Ill., Tom Clausen aspired to become a “transnational citizen.” He achieved that goal, visiting 119 nations during his banking and public service career, and exercising his leadership skills to improve the lives of countless individuals around the world.

After graduating from Carthage in 1944, Mr. Clausen served in the Army Air Corps in World War II and earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota.

He entered Bank of America’s executive training program in 1949, and in 1970 was elected president and chief executive officer of Bank of America Corporation. He led the bank through dramatic growth from 1970 through 1981, then served during the Reagan administration as President of the World Bank. He was nominated by President Jimmy Carter and during his term significantly strengthened the financial position of the institution. In 1986, he returned to Bank of America as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, retiring in 1990.

Mr. Clausen graduated from the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School. He was honored with the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, the Carthage Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the California Industrialist of the Year Award. He received honorary degrees from Carthage, Gonzaga University, Lewis and Clark College, the University of Notre Dame, the University of the Pacific, and the University of Santa Clara. He was awarded the prestigious University of California-San Francisco Medal and the Carthage Flame. Mr. Clausen was a trustee or director of numerous educational, foreign policy, or economic organizations, including Carthage; the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley; the University of California-San Francisco Foundation; the Asia Foundation; the Committee for Economic Development; Population Action International; and the International Center for Economic Growth.

Mr. Clausen was immediate past Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Northern California. He was a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and the Korea-U.S. Wiseman Council. He was advisor to the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership. He received awards from the governments of Italy, Japan, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, and Venezuela.

Mr. Clausen died Jan. 22, 2013, at the age of 89. He was survived by his wife, Helen, of Hillsborough, Calif., and two grown sons, Eric and Mark.

Read an in-depth profile of Mr. Clausen 

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