Robert E. Rubin

Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations
Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury


Mr. Rubin served as our nation’s 70th Secretary of the Treasury from 1995-1999.  As Secretary, Mr. Rubin played a leading role in many of the nation’s most important policy debates.  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 to resolve the impasse over the public debt limit; safeguarding the nation’s currency against counterfeiting; and guiding sensible reforms at the Internal Revenue Service. 

Long active in public affairs, Mr. Rubin first joined the Clinton Administration in 1993 as Director of the newly-created National Economic Council.  Under Mr. Rubin’s guidance, the NEC oversaw the Administration’s domestic and international economic policymaking process, coordinated economic policy recommendations to the President and monitored the implementation of the President’s economic policy goals.

Mr. Rubin began his career in finance at Goldman, Sachs & Company in New York City in 1966.  Mr. Rubin served as Vice-Chairman and Co-Chief Operating Officer from 1987-1990 and as Co-Senior Partner and Co-Chairman from 1990-1992.  Before joining Goldman, he was an attorney at the firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York City. 

From 1999 to 2009, Mr. Rubin served as a member of the Board of Directors at Citigroup and as a senior advisor to the company.  In addition, he worked extensively with the firm’s clients around the world.  On January 9th, he announced his intention to retire from the company and not stand for reelection as a Board member.

Mr. Rubin is the 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.  At the White House and Treasury, Mr. Rubin was a leading advocate for policy actions that met the need for economic development in the Nation’s distressed urban and rural areas.

In 2006, Mr. Rubin was 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.

Mr. Rubin 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 bestseller as well as being named one of Business Week’s ten best business books of the year.

In 2003, he was named Vice Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2007, he was named Co-Chairman.  Mr. Rubin also serves on the Board of Trustees of Mount Sinai Medical Center.  In 2000, he became a member of the Advisory Board of Insight Venture Partners, a New York-based private-equity investment firm that specializes in e-commerce business-to-business companies.  He is also a member of the Harvard Corporation. 

Mr. Rubin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1960 with an A.B. in economics.  He received a L.L.B. from Yale Law School in 1964 and attended the London School of Economics.  He was born in New York City in 1938 and is married to Judith Oxenberg Rubin, who served as the New York City Commissioner of Protocol for four years under Mayor David Dinkins. The Rubins have two adult sons, James and Philip.