Former World Bank Chief Wolfowitz to Head Arms Control Panel

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The State Department will name former World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz to head a high-level advisory panel on arms control and disarmament, The Associated Press has learned.

The move by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice marks a return to government for Wolfowitz, a conservative with close ties to the White House. Wolfowitz was replaced as World Bank chief in June after a stormy-two-year tenure. His leadership was undermined by a furor over a hefty compensation package he arranged in 2005 for a bank employee who was also his girlfriend.

Wolfowitz will become chairman of the International Security Advisory Board, which reports to the secretary of state. The panel is charged with supplying independent advice on arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation and related subjects.

The portfolio includes commentary on several high-profile issues now before the administration, including pending nuclear deals with India and North Korea and an offer to negotiate with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

Wolfowitz is currently a defense and foreign policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank.

Wolfowitz has a lengthy career in government, including serving as deputy defense secretary under President Bush. As the No. 2 official at the Pentagon, he was a major architect of the Iraq war.

His stint at the development bank was marked by controversy from the start. Controversy over job arrangements for his companion, Shaha Riza, put the bank's staff of 10,000 worldwide in revolt, tarnished the bank's reputation and strained relations with other countries, especially Europeans, who led the charge for Wolfowitz's ouster.