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Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

John E. Robson was sworn in Tuesday as chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist at a ceremony at Ex-Im Bank headquarters. Robson was nominated to head Ex-Im Bank by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The swearing in ceremony was attended by Bush Administration officials including Vice President Dick Cheney, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi.

Ex-Im Bank's basic mission is to spur job-creating exports by American businesses through providing credit in riskier foreign markets where commercial lenders won't venture, Robson said at the swearing in ceremony. The challenge, he added, is helping exporters in an increasingly complex global marketplace, where economic and political risks change overnight, where advanced technology allows trillions of dollars to course daily through the veins of the international financial system, where trade protectionism and sometimes corruption lurk, and where new financial products are invented every day.

Robson brings to Ex-Im Bank broad leadership experience in the public and private sectors. Before joining Ex-Im Bank, he was an investment banker with the San Francisco, California based firm of Robertson Stephens, where he was a senior advisor. His government experience includes Presidential appointments as deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury, chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board where he initiated airline deregulation, and under secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In the private sector, Robson was president and chief executive officer of G.D. Searle & Co., a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and consumer products company. He also was dean and professor of management at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and practiced corporate law as a partner in the firm of Sidley and Austin.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. Ex-Im Bank supported $15.5 billion in U.S. exports in fiscal year 2000.