On Monday, July 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET, the Atlantic Council is hosting a special event marking the eightieth anniversary of the opening of the Bretton Woods Conference. This event will explore the ambitious architecture of the international financial system set out at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, how these institutions have evolved in the decades since, and where they must go next to address the range of challenges facing advanced, developing, and emerging markets. 

On July 1, 1944, even as the Second World War raged on across Europe and the Pacific, delegates from forty-four nations led by the United States and the United Kingdom met in New Hampshire to begin the Bretton Woods Conference, officially known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. Their purpose was to imagine a post-World War economic system that promoted international coordination as well as reconstruction and growth, resulting in the creation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Eighty years laters, the global economy is once again in a moment of significant turmoil as countries recover from the pandemic and conflict has flared across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

How have the Institutions evolved since 1944 and what does that tell us about how the institutions can rise to the challenges of today? How has US and UK leadership in these institutions changed over time and what do these countries see as the priorities going forward? World Bank Senior Managing Director Axel van Trotsenburg, IMF Historian Atish Rex Ghosh, US Treasury Assistant Secretary Alexia Latortue, and former UK G7/G20 Sous-Sherpa Creon Butler will join us for a discussion on these critical issues and outline the way forward.

This event is part of the GeoEconomics Center’s Bretton Woods 2.0 Project designed to reimagine the institutions for the decades ahead and will be complemented by an event on July 25 in Rio de Janeiro on the sidelines of the G20 finance and central bank governors meetings, to mark eighty years since the conclusion of the Bretton Woods Conference. 

This event will be livestreamed on ACTV, YouTube, Facebook, and X (formerly Twitter). To register, please complete the form.


Axel van Trotsenburg
Senior Managing Director
World Bank

Atish Rex Ghosh
Deputy Director, Strategic, Policy, and Review Department
International Monetary Fund

Alexia Latortue
Assistant Secretary for International Trade and Development
US Department of the Treasury

Creon Butler
Director, Global Economy and Finance Programme
Chatham House

Moderated by

Josh Lipsky
Senior Director, GeoEconomics Center
Atlantic Council

Presented by

At the intersection of economics, finance, and foreign policy, the GeoEconomics Center is a translation hub with the goal of helping shape a better global economic future.