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Paulson sworn in as Treasury secretary

Henry M. Paulson Jr. was sworn into office July 10 as the 74th Secretary of the United States Treasury.
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Henry M. Paulson Jr. was sworn into office July 10 as the 74th Secretary of the United States Treasury.

President George W. Bush joined Paulson for the ceremony in the Treasury Department?s historic Cash Room as new Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office.

Bush nominated Paulson on June 19. The Senate unanimously confirmed him nine days later on June 28. As Treasury secretary, Paulson is the President?s leading policy advisor on a broad range of domestic and international economic issues and has charge over the Mint, where he makes decisions relating to new coin designs, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

A change in Treasury secretary also means a change in facsimile signature on the nation?s paper money, the Federal Reserve Notes. The series date changes under current policy when a new secretary takes office. When a new Treasurer of the United States is appointed, that generates a suffix letter to an existing series date.

One of the oldest cabinet positions in government, the first Treasury secretary was Alexander Hamilton, who wrote the nation?s minting and coinage laws. Before coming to Treasury, Paulson was chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1974 in the Chicago office and became a partner in 1982.

From 1983 until 1988, Paulson headed up Investment Banking Services for the Midwest region and became managing partner of the Chicago office in 1988. In 1990, he was named Co-head of the firm?s investment banking division, and in 1994 he rose to the position of president and chief operating officer.

In 1998, he was named co-senior partner, and with the firm?s public offering in 1999, became chairman and CEO.

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Paulson was a member of the White House Domestic Council, serving as staff assistant to the President from 1972 to 1973, and as staff assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon from 1970 to 1972.

Paulson graduated from Dartmouth in 1968, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and All Ivy, All East, and honorable mention All American for football. He received an MBA from Harvard in 1970.

He and his wife, Wendy, have two children, Amanda and Merritt.

A U.S. Mint medal, the 74th in a series, will feature his portrait.