Peter Goettler Takes the Helm

May/​June 2015 • Policy Report

The Cato Institute is pleased to welcome Peter Goettler, a former managing director at Barclays Capital, as its new president and CEO. Goettler took charge on April 1, stepping in at a moment when the ideas underpinning a free society are increasingly gaining currency in the national conversation surrounding America’s policy future.

“The Cato Institute has played a major role in the increasing recognition of libertarianism as a vital political philosophy in the United States and the world,” Goettler said. “Indeed, journalists now talk about a ‘libertarian moment’ in American politics, reflecting both the failure of excessive government and the effective work of Cato and other libertarian organizations.”

Goettler retired in 2008 as a managing director and head of Investment Banking and Debt Capital Markets, Americas, at Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank, PLC. He also served as chief executive officer for the firm’s businesses in Latin America and as head of Global Loans and Global Leveraged Finance. He has also served on the Board of the New York City–Southern New York chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 2008, and chaired the board for the last two years. Goettler has been a member of the Cato Institute’s board since last year and a supporter of the Institute for 15 years. “In one policy area after another, Cato’s scholarship has highlighted the ill effects of state intervention on both freedom and economic growth,” he said. “In the process, Cato’s work has helped to limit government and protect our liberty.”

Goettler will replace John Allison, who is retiring after more than two exemplary years on the job. Under the leadership of Allison, who was formerly chairman and CEO of BB&T, Cato’s financial support grew by 64 percent. During his tenure, Allison played a significant role in launching two new policy centers at Cato: the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives and the Center for the Study of Science. Allison also completed two books, one on the causes of the financial meltdown and another offering a free‐​market approach to leadership. His first book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure, quickly became both a New York Times and a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Allison joined Cato in October 2012 as part of the resolution to an internal dispute over the Institute’s governance structure. “John Allison guided Cato through a significant transition process, and for that we will always be grateful to him,” said Robert Levy, chairman of the Institute. “Under John’s leadership, the Institute has prospered and grown while enhancing its reputation for intellectual rigor, advocacy of libertarian principles, and influence in the public policy community. The board is especially grateful for John’s willingness to tackle internal governance issues and help resolve conflicts that had jeopardized the Institute’s mission.” Allison will continue to serve on the board of directors, in addition to acting as chairman of the executive advisory council for the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives.

The Cato Institute was cofounded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who, as president and CEO for 35 years, led the think tank from a three‐​person outfit in San Francisco to one of the major public policy research organizations on the national stage. Goettler’s leadership will mark the next step in that journey.

“In the fight for liberty, Cato is the indispensable institution,” Goettler said. “There is no more important contribution I can make to our fight than to dedicate myself fully to the ongoing success of the Cato Institute.”

Download the Policy Report Article