Mallaby, Sebastian 1964–

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Mallaby, Sebastian 1964–

PERSONAL: Born May 9, 1964, in London, England; married Katty Kay (a journalist), July 29, 1989. Education: Oxford University, graduated (with first-class honors), 1986.

ADDRESSES: Office—Washington Post, P.O. Box 17370, Arlington, VA 22216.

CAREER: Economist, London, England, Africa correspondent, 1987–91, finance correspondent, 1991–92, Tokyo, Japan, correspondent, 1992–96, Washington, DC, correspondent, 1996, Washington, DC, bureau chief, 1997–99; Washington Post, Arlington, VA, columnist, 1999–. Supporter of OXFAM.

MEMBER: Amnesty International.

AWARDS, HONORS: Council on Foreign Relations fellow, 2003.


After Apartheid: The Future of South Africa, Times Books (New York, NY), 1992.

The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations, Penguin (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, New York Times, and New Republic.

SIDELIGHTS: Sebastian Mallaby's career in journalism has included several years covering Africa for the Economist. His exposure to and understanding of African politics and culture are the basis of his first book, After Apartheid: The Future of South Africa. His second title, The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations, is a profile of James Wolfensohn, the former president of the World Bank who served two five-year terms. Wolfensohn, a successful banker and philanthropist, gave up his Australian citizenship to increase his chances of being appointed to the position, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. With Wolfensohn came policy reform within the organization that is responsible for billions of dollars of aid in the form of grants, loans, and technical assistance. An African Business reviewer wrote that "Mallaby leaves the reader in little doubt that it was primarily through the strength of Wolfensohn's character that he was able to rejuvenate the Bank—with a 'force of nature' that blew through the corridors of the Bank's Washington headquarters with irresistible energy, clearing dust and cobwebs from every corner." In writing this volume, Mallaby interviewed Wolfensohn, as well as current and former bank officials and officials from individual countries. Peter Rosenblum wrote in Ethics & International Affairs that "The World's Banker is a smart journalist's account of the story of a man and some of the key events that served to transform or give substance to his vision. There is travelogue, personal anecdote, and the intricate reconstruction of events that serve as exemplars of some larger argument." Rosenblum described the book as being "very readable."

Mallaby once told CA: "I have been interested in international affairs since childhood. My father is British, and my mother is French. I grew up in New York, Berlin, Moscow, and London, and traveled extensively in Latin America, Africa, India, and Western Europe. My languages include French, German, Spanish, and Japanese."



African Business, May, 2005, review of The World's Banker: A Story of Failed States, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations, p. 62.

Ethics & International Affairs, October, 2005, Peter Rosenblum, review of The World's Banker, p. 126.

Foreign Affairs, January-February, 2005, Richard N. Cooper, review of The World's Banker, p. 181.

New York Times Book Review, April 5, 1992, George M. Fredrickson, review of After Apartheid: The Future of South Africa, p. 3.


Washington Post Online, (March 22, 2006), brief biography of Mallaby.