C. Fred Bergsten is an American economist, author, and political adviser. He has served as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department and has been president of the Peterson Institute, formerly the Institute for International Economics, since its foundation in 1981. He was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 1967 to 1968. In 1969 he became Assistant for International Economic Affairs to Henry Kissinger at the National Security Council where he coordinated US foreign economic policy until 1971. From 1972 to 1976 he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
From 1977 to 1981 he served at the U.S. Treasury Department as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs during the Carter administration. He was a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace during 1981. In that same year he founded the Washington-based think-tank, the Institute for International Economics; he remains president of that now renamed organization. He is a close associate of David Rockefeller, who is on the board of directors of the Peterson Institute.
In 2001, he co-founded the Center for Global Development along with Edward W. Scott and Nancy Birdsall.