Lawrence Summers

Lawrence Henry Summers is a renowned American economist who has made significant contributions to the field of economics, public policy, and academia. He has served in various prestigious positions in the US government, as well as in academic and research institutions.

Early Life and Education:

Lawrence Summers was born on November 30, 1954, in New Haven, Connecticut. His parents were both economists, with his father being Robert Summers, a renowned economist, and his mother being Anita Summers, an economist and a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Summers grew up in a highly academic environment, and his interest in economics was sparked at an early age.

Summers attended the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in economics in 1975. He went on to pursue his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, which he completed in 1982.


Summers began his academic career as a professor of economics at Harvard University in 1983. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a full professor in 1987, at the age of 33. During his time at Harvard, Summers made significant contributions to the field of economics, particularly in the areas of macroeconomics and international finance. He also served as the vice president of development economics and chief economist of the World Bank from 1991 to 1993.

In 1999, Summers was appointed as the Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton. As Secretary of the Treasury, he played a key role in shaping US economic policy and played a crucial role in the passage of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which abolished the Glass-Steagall Act and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge.

After leaving government service, Summers returned to Harvard University, where he served as the President from 2001 to 2006. During his tenure as President, Summers worked to strengthen the university’s finances, improve undergraduate education, and increase diversity on campus.

In 1993, Summers was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the Undersecretary for International Affairs at the United States Department of the Treasury. He played a key role in developing the policies that helped stabilize the Mexican economy during the financial crisis of 1994-1995. In 1995, Summers was appointed as the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, where he continued to play a key role in shaping US economic policy.

In 2009, Summers returned to government service as the Director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama. In this role, he played a key role in developing the administration’s response to the financial crisis of 2008-2009, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Summers has also been involved in numerous research and academic projects throughout his career. He has authored numerous articles and books on economics and has served as a consultant to various organizations and governments around the world.

Honors and Awards:

Summers has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, including the John Bates Clark Medal in 1993, which is awarded to the most outstanding economist under the age of 40. He has also been elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Personal Life:

Summers is married to Elisa New, a professor of English at Harvard University. They have six children together. Summers is known for his sharp wit and outspoken personality and has been involved in various controversies throughout his career.