Karl P. Sauvant is a resident senior fellow at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, an adjunct senior research scholar, and a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School. He is also a fellow at the Academy of International Business and an honorary fellow at European International Business Academy. He is a guest professor at Nankai University in China and theme leader of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development/World Economic Forum Task Force on Investment Policy.
Sauvant was the founding executive director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment where he sought to make the VCC a leading forum for discussions by scholars, policymakers, development advocates, students, and other stakeholders regarding issues related to foreign direct investment in the global economy and the regulatory framework governing it, focusing particularly on the contribution of FDI to sustainable development. He teaches a seminar on FDI and public policy, and has published widely in the international investment area. Sauvant was previously the co-director of the Millennium Cities Initiative at the Earth Institute, responsible for helping African cities attract investment.
A German national, Sauvant has served as director of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's Investment Division, managing the division and promoting international consensus-building in the areas of FDI, technology and enterprise development, providing intellectual leadership for policy-oriented research, and conceptualizing and supervising technical assistance activities. He joined the United Nations in 1973, where he created the prestigious annual World Investment Report, of which he was the lead author until 2004. Sauvant is founder of the journal Transnational Corporations and served as its editor until 2005. He provided intellectual leadership and guidance to a series of 25 monographs on key issues related to international investment agreements, and he edited the 20-volume Library on Transnational Corporations (with Dr. John H. Dunning, Routeledge), 2004, 2005.
Sauvant received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania.