ON JUNE 27, REUBEN JEFFERY III, JD/MBA ’80, WAS SWORN IN BY CONDOLEEZZA RICE AS THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S new under secretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs. In addition to advising Secretary Rice on international economic policy, Jeffery directs the department on such issues as trade, agriculture, aviation, and bilateral relations with American economic partners.
“I can tell you that strong, technically proficient, fair and transparent governing institutions such as regulatory agencies keep the business sector in line,” remarked Jeffery in his first speech in his new role—a talk on energy security, financial stability, transparency, the investment climate, trade, and the G8 delivered at the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. “They also encourage investment, because they help ensure investors understand where they are putting their money.”
Jeffery ought to know: He was previously the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and also spent 18 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he specialized in international capital markets and corporate finance. Along the way, Jeffery coordinated the federal efforts to redevelop Lower Manhattan after September 11, 2001, and served in senior positions at the Department of Defense and the National Security Council.
“Around the world we see that people are striving for a better future,” says Jeffery when asked about the opportunity before him. “We have to steer a course that brings economic opportunity to the developing world, while also promoting continued economic growth and job creation in developed economies. Trade agreements, promoting energy security, and working with partner countries to improve the business climate serve these goals.”