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Photo: Mike Minehan

Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board; former Chairman, US Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC

Richard von Weizsäcker Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2010

Paul A. Volcker is a twice-appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He currently serves as Chairman of the newly formed Economic Recovery Advisory Board under President Barack Obama and is chairman of the board of trustees of the International Accounting Standards Committee, which oversees renewed efforts to develop consistent, high-quality accounting standards acceptable in all nations. Volker was first appointed to chair the Federal Reserve in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and was reappointed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan.


Volcker began his career as an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1952, and was with the Department of the Treasury from 1962 to 1965 before becoming Chase Manhattan Bank’s vice president and director of planning, until 1969, when he returned to the Treasury Department as undersecretary for international monetary affairs, from 1969 to 1974. Volcker returned to the Bank of New York, as its President, from 1975 to 1979, before named to the Fed by President Carter. His Fed tenure is widely credited with ending the period of US stagflation of the 1970s.


At the end of his Fed tenure, Volcker returned to the private sector, as chairman of J. Rothschild, Wolfensohn & Co., a corporate advisory and investment firm. In 1998 Volcker founded the National Commission on the Public Service, which recommends changes of the organization and personnel practices of the Federal Government. Volcker is today affiliated with the Japan Society, Institute of International Economics, American Assembly, and American Council on Germany.


Volcker is an Honorary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission and Chairman and, since 2006, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty, a financial advisory body.

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