Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Lawrence Summers (1999–2001): Secretary of the Treasury

Lawrence Summers served in several Treasury Department positions under the leadership of President Clinton: under-secretary of the treasury from 1993 to 1995, deputy secretary of the treasury from 1995 to 1999, and secretary of the treasury from 1999 to 2001.

Prior to working in the Clinton administration, Summers was vice president and the chief economist at the World Bank (1991-1993). He also served for a short time as a domestic policy economist on President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors (1982-1983).

Summers was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1954 and received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975. He earned his doctorate in economics from Harvard University (1982) and thereafter began a distinguished career as an economics professor. He was an assistant and associate professor of economics at MIT (1979-1982) and taught at Harvard (1983 -1991) where, at the age of 28, he became one of Harvard's youngest tenured professors. In 2001, Summers returned to teaching at Harvard, and he became president of the university soon thereafter.