October 26, 2010

Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson to Speak at Cornell

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Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson will speak at Cornell on Nov. 11 at the annual Hatfield Address, according to the University. The on-stage discussion with President Skorton in Bailey Hall will be followed by a reception in Duffield Atrium.

Paulson follows such Hatfield lecturers as Sanford Weill ‘55 and Stephen Freidman ‘59.

Paulson graduated with an English degree from Dartmouth College in 1968, and received his M.B.A. from Harvard in 1970. After beginning his career at Goldman Sachs in 1974, he would eventually co-head their investment bank and serve as Chief Operating Officer. He was appointed chief executive in 1998, succeeding Jon Corzine.

After being nominated by President George Bush, he succeeded John Snow as Treasury Secretary in 2006. As Secretary, he oversaw the national government’s 2008 financial bailout of financial institutions that had been given bad loans.

From 1970 to 1972, Paulson served as assistant secretary of defense to the Pentagon. He then served as a staff assistant to President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1973, before taking his first corporate job at Goldman Sachs.

According to the University, Paulson will attend a faculty luncheon hosted by President  Emeritus Hunter R. Rawlings III, as well as meeting with specially selected undergraduate leaders.

Despite his corporate history, Paulson is a noted conservationist. He has donated $100 million towards environmental conservancy causes in his lifetime, and has pledged his entire fortune towards conservation causes at his death, according to the U.K. newspaper The Independent.

Last year’s lecture series featured H. Fisk Johnson ’79. In his lecture, Johnson focused on the importance of “green” and sustainable business practices. He emphasized that the world also needs “disruptive” leadership to make serious and necessary changes in all aspects of society.

The Hatfield Lecture Series is sponsored by the Robert H. Hatfield Fund for Economic Education. Founded in 1980, the fund allows for a distinguished leader in business to come to campus each year for a public talk with the president and the opportunity to meet with students.

Original Author: Brendan Doyle