Robert E. Rubin, co-chairman emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations, and former secretary of the U.S. Treasury, began his career in finance at Goldman, Sachs & Company in New York City in 1966. Rubin served as vice-chairman and co-chief operating officer (1987-1990) and as co-senior partner and co-chairman (1990-1992). Before joining Goldman, he was an attorney at the firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York City (1964-1966).
Long active in public affairs, he joined the Clinton administration in 1993 as assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the newly created National Economic Council. At the NEC, he coordinated economic policy recommendations to the president and monitored the implementation of the president’s economic policy goals. In January 1995, Rubin was appointed as our nation’s 70th secretary of the treasury. He served for 4-1/2 years until July 1999, where he was involved in balancing the federal budget; opening trade policy to further globalization; acting to stem financial crises in Mexico, Asia, and Russia; helping resolve the impasse over the public debt limit; and guiding sensible reforms at the Internal Revenue Service.
From 1999 to 2009, he served as a member of the board of directors at Citigroup and as a senior advisor to the company. In that capacity, he worked extensively with the firm’s clients around the world.
Rubin is one of the founders of The Hamilton Project, an economic policy project housed at the Brookings Institution that offers a strategic vision and innovative policy proposals on how to create a growing economy that benefits more Americans.
He is the author of In An Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington (Random House, 2003, with Jacob Weisberg), which was a New York Times best-seller as well as being named one of Business Week’s 10 best business books of the year.
In June 2017, Rubin concluded his 10-year term as co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations but serves as co-chairman emeritus. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees at the Mount Sinai Health System and chairman of the board of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which is the nation’s leading community development support organization with 38 offices nationwide. In June 2014, he completed a 12-year term as a member of the Harvard Corporation and is now a member of its finance committee. He joined Centerview Partners in 2010 as a senior counselor of the firm. In his role at Centerview, he serves as a sounding board and adviser to clients across the firm’s various activities, bringing years of experience in finance and public policy.
Rubin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1960 with an AB in economics. He received an LLB from Yale Law School in 1964 and attended the London School of Economics. He has received honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and other universities.