If you asked Don Roth at Princeton graduation who was the least likely person in his class to live outside the United States, he would have voted for himself. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound future World Bank Treasurer played football, lacrosse and basketball. A trip to the 1965 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament was as far as he cared to travel. But after his interest in finance was sparked at the University of Chicago School of Economics, Roth ended up moving continents seven times, traveled the world with Merrill Lynch and eventually made a stop at the World Bank Treasury in 1987.
“If you were involved in international capital markets from the ‘70s throughout the ‘80s, the World Bank was really the principal player,” said Roth on why he joined the World Bank after a long career in the private sector when we visited him at home in Rosslyn.
Roth’s penthouse apartment, full of art he collected when living abroad together with his wife - from Chinese Neolithic vases to original art by Andy Warhol and Joan Miro - is where he enjoys his retirement after a remarkable career in investment banking.
“The best thing about retirement for me is not having to travel. Apart from visiting our four children,” said Roth, the World Bank Treasurer in 1987 to 1991.
When he landed on H Street in Washington, DC, Roth immediately became part of history in the making.