- Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Chairman, the Paulson Institute;Former Secretary of Treasury, USA Special Guests and International Organizations
Henry M. Paulson, Jr., is a businessman, China expert, conservationist and author. He is the founder and chairman of the Paulson Institute, and co-chairman of the Latin American Conservation Council of The Nature Conservancy and the Risky Business Project.
Paulson served as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, from July 2006 to January 2009. Prior to that, he had a thirty-two year career at Goldman Sachs, serving as chairman and chief executive officer beginning in 1999. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the White House Domestic Council as well as a staff assistant at the Pentagon.
Today, he serves as chairman of the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago, which aims to advance sustainable economic growth, a cleaner environment and cross-border investments in the United States and China. A “think and do” tank founded in 2011, the Institute’s work is comprised of programs, advocacy and research with partners around the globe.
A lifelong conservationist, Paulson was Chairman of The Nature Conservancy Board of Directors and, prior to that, founded and co-chaired the organization’s Asia-Pacific Council. In 2011, he founded and continues to co-chair the Latin American Conservation Council, comprised of global business and political leaders.
Paulson co-chairs the Risky Business Project, which focuses on quantifying and publicizing the economic risks of climate change in the United States, with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. The non-partisan initiative aims to spur action to mitigate the effects of climate change before the worst potential outcomes occur.
In his best-selling book, On the Brink, Paulson describes his experiences as Treasury Secretary fending off the near-collapse of the U.S. economy during the Great Recession. His new book, Dealing with China, details his career working with scores of China’s top political and business leaders and witnessing the evolution of China’s state-controlled capitalism.
Paulson graduated from Dartmouth College in 1968 and received an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1970. He and his wife, Wendy, have two children and four grandchildren.