Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Timothy F. Geithner (2009-2013): Secretary of the Treasury

Timothy Franz Geithner was born on August 18, 1961, in New York City. He was raised largely overseas and lived in areas such as East Africa, India, and China. He attended Dartmouth College and the Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a master's degree in international economics and East Asian studies. Geithner served at the Treasury Department for thirteen years, beginning in 1988 in the international affairs division. In 1999, he was named undersecretary of that department in the administration of President Bill Clinton.

In 2001, Geithner left the Treasury to serve as director of the Policy Development and Review Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). While there, he acted as a key architect of bailout plans of the Brazilian, Indonesian, Mexican, and South Korean economies.

Prior to his selection as President-Elect Barack Obama's secretary of the Treasury, Geithner served as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He was intimately involved in talks regarding the failure of the investment bank Lehman Brothers and the government bailout of insurance company AIG in late 2008. He has called for streamlined federal supervision of financial markets and a simpler, more uniform standard of regulation.

In naming him Treasury secretary, Obama commended Geithner's "unparalleled understanding of our current economic crisis, in all of its depth, complexity and urgency." President Obama also cited his international background as essential to understanding the complexities of today's globalized economy.