Steven Mnuchin (2017-2021)
Steven Terner Mnuchin was born in New York City, New York, on December 21, 1962. After attending the prestigious Riverdale Country School, he went to Yale University, graduating in 1985. While at Yale, he was the publisher of the Yale Daily News and became a member of Skull and Bones, an exclusive secret society.
After school, Mnuchin began working at Goldman Sachs, where he stayed for seventeen years, eventually rising to the position of Chief Information Officer. Upon leaving Goldman Sachs in 2002, Mnuchin founded multiple hedge funds, the most well-known being Dune Capital Management. In 2009, Mnuchin and coinvestors bought the failed lender IndyMac, which they renamed OneWest Bank. With Mnuchin as its CEO, OneWest became the largest bank in Southern California, but came under fire for its aggressive foreclosure practices. When OneWest was sold to the holding company CIT Group in 2015, Mnuchin became a member of CIT’s board.
Mnuchin also worked as a film producer and financier for movies in Hollywood. Some of the notable films he has been involved in are American Sniper (2014), The Lego Movie (2014), and Wonder Woman (2017).
Mnuchin had limited political experience before becoming involved with the campaign of Donald Trump in 2016. He had met Trump years before as an investor in some of Trump’s real estate projects. During the Trump campaign, Mnuchin served as the chair of the campaign’s national finance committee. He also worked as part of the Trump transition team.
After President Trump nominated Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury, the US Senate confirmed Mnuchin on February 13, 2017, by a vote of 53 to 47. All 52 Republican Senators voted in favor of his confirmation, along with Democrat Joe Manchin.
As Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin played a large role in the Trump administration’s efforts to reform the tax code, grow the US economy, renegotiate trade deals, and rollback financial regulations. He worked closely with top Republican legislators to craft the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that President Trump signed into law at the end of 2017. Mnuchin was also the subject of a number of ethics claims and investigations by the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General, primarily involving his use of government and military aircraft for travel.