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Jack Lew

Government Official

Born: 29 August 1955
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as:

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 2013-

Name at birth: Jacob J. Lew

Jack Lew became the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury in 2013, capping 40 years of work in and around the corridors of power in Washington and New York. He has been called "exceedingly meticulous" and "the most unassuming power broker in Washington" by The New York Times. He was born Jacob J. Lew in New York in 1955; his father was a lawyer and an immigrant from Poland. Jack Lew grew up in Queens and spent a year at Carleton College in Minnesota before going to work for liberal New York congresswoman Bella Abzug in 1973. He later got a degree from Harvard (1978) and a law degree from Georgetown University Law School (1983). From 1979-87 he worked for legendary Speaker of the House Thomas "Tip" O'Neill, then went on to practice law for five years as a partner at the New York firm of Van Ness, Feldman and Curtis (later Van Ness Feldman). In 1993 he became a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, helping to design the national service program Americorps, and in 1994 he moved to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Clinton named him director of the OMB in 1998, and he served in the job until the end of Clinton's second term in 2001. He taught at Georgetown and New York Univeristy and then worked for Wall Street giant Citigroup job from 2006-09. He returned to government as a deputy under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009. President Barack Obama named him OMB Director in 2010 (his second trip in the job) and he became Obama's White House Chief of Staff in 2012, after which Obama nominated him to be Secretary of the Treasury at the start of his second term. Jack Lew took office on February 27, 2013, the day he was confirmed by the Senate, replacing Timothy Geithner.

Extra credit:

Jack Lew is married to his high school sweetheart, Ruth Schwartz. They have two children: Shoshana (nickhamed Shoshi, born 1983) and Isaac (known as Danny; born 1986). Shoshana Lew has also worked at various posts in the Obama administration... Jack Lew is an Orthodox Jew who avoids "work, cars, phone calls, and other technology from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday," according to a 2012 profile in The National Journal... Jack Lew's signature -- a crabbed row of eight squiggly loops -- has come in for comical insults from pundits. When Obama nominated him for Secretary of the Treasury, he said "Jack assures me he will work to make at least one letter legible so as not to debase our currency."

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More on Jack Lew from Infoplease:

  • Jack Lew - Biography of Jack Lew, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 2013-
  • Timothy Geithner - Biography of Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 2009-2013
  • Executive Departments - Detailed information about the Executive Departments in the Executive Branch of government with secretary, role, contact information, and history of the department

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