Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Henry M. Paulson, Jr. (2006–2009): Secretary of the Treasury

Henry Merritt Paulson, Jr., was born on March 28, 1946, in Palm Beach, Florida. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor's degree in English in 1968 and from Harvard University with a master's degree in business administration in 1970.

Paulson began his career as a staff assistant to the assistant secretary of Defense from 1970 to 1972. He then became a member of the White House Domestic Council in the administration of Richard Nixon, serving as a staff assistant to the President from 1972 to 1973.

After his time in Washington, D.C., Paulson joined Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, at their Chicago offices in 1974. He became partner in 1982, and from 1983 until 1988 he was the head of the Investment Banking Services for the Midwest region. In 1988, he became managing partner of the Chicago office, and in 1994, he was appointed to the position of President and chief operating officer. In 1999, he became chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs.

President George W. Bush nominated Paulson as secretary of the Department of Treasury in 2006, and the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed him on June 28, 2006. As the seventy-fourth secretary of the Treasury, Paulson is the leading policy adviser to the President on domestic and international economic affairs.