2019 Henry Owen Memorial Award Essay Contest

Date and time

The Bretton Woods Committee invites graduate students to submit brief essays to the Henry Owen Memorial Award Essay Contest on the following topic:

Learning from the economic disruptions of the interwar years, the architects of the Bretton Woods agreement sought to establish a multilateral economic system that would foster international cooperation. How can the Bretton Woods institutions evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st century global economy and revive the spirit of international cooperation for the future?


Essay Length: Essays should be an original work in English of no more than 750 words.

Deadline: March 17, 2019 by 11:59 p.m. ET.

Eligibility: Graduate-level students currently registered at accredited colleges and universities within the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Award includes:

  • First place winners will receive a monetary prize of US$1,000.
  • Second place winners will receive a monetary prize of US$500.
  • Winners will have the opportunity to participate in the Bretton Woods Committee Annual Meeting to be held in April 2019.
  • Top essays will be published on the Committee’s website and shared with Committee members and friends via its quarterly newsletter.

To apply: Please email an essay of no more than 750 words to secretariat@brettonwoods.org by March 17, 2019, 11:59 p.m. ET. All applicants must include a cover sheet with name, contact information, school, and degree information. Name, school, and contact information should not be visible on any other pages of the essay. Number each page of essay. One submission per person.

Failure to comply with application processes and requirements may result in disqualification from the contest.


The Henry Owen Memorial Prize honors Bretton Woods Committee co-founder Henry Owen, and hopes to inspire new generations of thoughtful young leaders to follow Ambassador Owen’s example as both a scholar and diplomat. As Ambassador for Economic Summits under President Jimmy Carter, Henry Owen organized many of the economic summits in the 1970s which came to shape modern international financial and economic institutions, and he was an important force behind the creation of the Trilateral Commission.

This Award has been made possible thanks to the generous contributions of Bretton Woods Committee members, friends, and the Owen family.