Pierre-Paul Schweitzer

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Pierre-Paul Schweitzer
4th Managing Director of the IMF
In office
1 September 1963 – 31 August 1973
Preceded byPer Jacobsson
Succeeded byJohan Witteveen
Personal details
Born(1912-05-29)29 May 1912
Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire
Died2 January 1994(1994-01-02) (aged 81)
Geneva, Switzerland
ChildrenLouis Schweitzer
Alma materUniversity of Paris, Sciences Po

Pierre-Paul Schweitzer (French pronunciation: ​[pjɛʁpol ʃwɛtse]; 29 May 1912 – 2 January 1994) was a French businessman who was fourth managing director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and chairman of its executive board, serving from 1963 to 1973.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 29 May 1912, in Straßburg, Elsaß-Lothringen, German Empire. He is the father of Louis Schweitzer, CEO of Renault. He was the nephew of Albert Schweitzer.[2]

Schweitzer was educated at the University of Strasbourg, the University of Paris, and the Paris School of Political Science (Sciences Po) and received degrees in law, economics and political science.


In his early career, Schweitzer joined the French Government as an assistant Inspecteur des Finances (1936), before becoming an Inspecteur des Finances (1939). Then he was: deputy director for the department of external finance of the French Treasury (1946); alternate executive director for France at the IMF (1947); secretary of the French Interministerial Committee in Charge of Questions on European Economic Cooperation (1948); financial attaché at the French embassy in Washington (1949–1953); director of the French Treasury (1953–1960). In 1960, he was appointed deputy governor of the Bank of France. He also served as a director of the European Investment Bank, a director of Air France, and as a government commissioner on the boards of the French Petroleum Company and the French Refinery Company.

On 21 June 1963 Schweitzer was appointed managing director and chairman of the executive board of the IMF, and he assumed his duties on 1 September 1963. Schweitzer was appointed to a second five-year term as managing director and chairman of the board of the IMF on 15 May 1968.

Schweitzer's term as the IMF's managing director was a critical period, not only due to the collapse of the Par Value System, but also for the creation of the special drawing rights (SDR), as an international reserve asset (1968); the establishment of the two-tier gold market, and the work of the Committee of Twenty of the International Monetary System on reforming the international financial system. Also, during his tenure as managing director of the IMF, its membership grew from 91 to 125 countries.

Schweitzer received many honors and decorations, such as the Commander of the Légion d'Honneur; the Médaille de la Résistance, and the Croix de Guerre.

Schweitzer died on 2 January 1994 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Military service[edit]

Schweitzer was commissioned as a lieutenant in the French Army after the outbreak of World War II. When France fell in 1940, he joined the French Resistance and was later captured and held at the Buchenwald concentration camp, on the outskirts of Weimar, Germany, until it was liberated in 1945. Schweitzer was a Nazi concentration camp survivor.[3]


  1. ^ "IMF Managing Directors". Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  2. ^ Riding, Alan (4 January 1994). "Obituary: Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, Ex-Head Of I.M.F. and French Official, 81". New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  3. ^ RIDING, ALAN (4 January 1994). "Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, Ex-Head Of I.M.F. and French Official, 81". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2011.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by Head of the International Monetary Fund
Succeeded by