About Karl Sauvant

Karl P. Sauvant is Resident Senior Fellow at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University; Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School (where he teaches a seminar on FDI and public policy); Fellow, Academy of International Business; and Honorary Fellow, European International Business Academy. He is a national of Germany, married to Silvana F. da Silva, a national of Brazil.

Dr. Sauvant launched, in 2015, a proposal for an international support program to facilitate sustainable investment; structured discussions on a multilateral Investment Facilitation Framework for Development began in the WTO in 2018, and were upgraded to negotiations in 2020. He has advocated, since 2004, the establishment of an Advisory Center on International Investment Law, a proposal that was put on the agenda of the United Nations Commission on Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in October 2019. Since 1998, he has championed the establishment of a facility that helps developing countries negotiate large-scale contracts with international investors; the proposal was put on the G7 agenda in 2014, under the name of “CONNEX”, and was implemented by Germany in 2017, when it established the CONNEX Support Unit in Berlin. In January 2006, Sauvant established the Columbia Program on International Investment (today the CCSI), serving as its Executive Director until February 2012. As Chief of the Research Section of the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, he created the World Investment Report and was its lead author until 2004, at UNCTAD; he also founded the journal Transnational Corporations, serving as its editor until 2005.

Dr. Sauvant received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He joined the United Nations in 1973 and, as of 1975, has focused his work on matters related to FDI. He rose to Director of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD’s) Investment Division. He has published extensively on issues related to economic development and various aspects of foreign direct investment.