United States Secretary of the Treasury

The United States secretary of the treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, and is the chief financial officer of the federal government of the United States. The secretary of the treasury serves as the principal advisor to the president of the United States on all matters regarding to economic and fiscal policy. The secretary is a statutory member of the Cabinet of the United States, and is fifth in the presidential line of succession.

United States Secretary of the Treasury
Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury.svg
Seal of the Department of the Treasury
Flag of the United States Secretary of the Treasury.svg
Flag of the Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary Janet Yellen portrait (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Janet Yellen

since January 26, 2021
United States Department of the Treasury
StyleMadam Secretary (informal)
The Honorable (formal)
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatTreasury Building
Washington, D.C.
AppointerPresident
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument31 U.S.C. § 301
PrecursorSuperintendent of Finance
FormationSeptember 11, 1789; 232 years ago (1789-09-11)
First holderAlexander Hamilton
SuccessionFifth[1]
DeputyDeputy Secretary of the Treasury[2]
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I[3]
Websitetreasury.gov

Under the Appointments Clause of the United States Constitution, the officeholder is nominated by the president of the United States, and, following a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Finance, is confirmed by the United States Senate.

The secretary of state, the secretary of the treasury, the secretary of defense, and the attorney general are generally regarded as the four most important Cabinet officials, due to the size and importance of their respective departments.[4]

The current secretary of the treasury is Janet Yellen, who is the first woman to hold the post.[5][6]

Powers and functionsEdit

The Secretary is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy, participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy, and managing the public debt. The Secretary oversees the activities of the Department in carrying out its major law enforcement responsibilities; in serving as the financial agent for the United States Government; and in manufacturing coins and currency. The Chief Financial Officer of the government, the Secretary serves as Chairman Pro Tempore of the President's Economic Policy Council, Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, and as U.S. Governor of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

— U.S. Department of the Treasury Web site[7]

The secretary along with the treasurer of the United States must sign Federal Reserve notes before they can become legal tender.[8] The secretary also manages the United States Emergency Economic Stabilization fund.

Most of the department's law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Secret Service were reassigned to other departments in 2003 in conjunction with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

SalaryEdit

The secretary of the treasury is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level (US$221,400, as of January 2021).[9][3]

List of secretaries of the treasuryEdit

Parties

  No party (1)   Federalist (4)   Democratic-Republican (4)   Democratic (29)   Whig (5)   Republican (34)

Status

  Denotes an acting secretary of the treasury
No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office President(s)
1   Alexander Hamilton New York September 11, 1789 January 31, 1795 George Washington
2   Oliver Wolcott, Jr. Connecticut February 3, 1795 December 31, 1800
John Adams
3   Samuel Dexter Massachusetts January 1, 1801 May 13, 1801
Thomas Jefferson
4   Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin Pennsylvania May 14, 1801 February 8, 1814
James Madison
5   George W. Campbell Tennessee February 9, 1814 October 5, 1814
6   Alexander J. Dallas Pennsylvania October 6, 1814 October 21, 1816
  William Jones
[a]
Pennsylvania October 21, 1816 October 22, 1816
7   William H. Crawford Georgia October 22, 1816 March 6, 1825
James Monroe
8   Richard Rush Pennsylvania March 7, 1825 March 5, 1829 John Quincy Adams
9   Samuel D. Ingham Pennsylvania March 6, 1829 June 20, 1831 Andrew Jackson
10   Louis McLane Delaware August 8, 1831 May 28, 1833
11   William J. Duane Pennsylvania May 29, 1833 September 22, 1833
12   Roger B. Taney Maryland September 23, 1833 June 25, 1834
13   Levi Woodbury New Hampshire July 1, 1834 March 3, 1841
Martin Van Buren
14   Thomas Ewing Ohio March 4, 1841 September 11, 1841 William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
15   Walter Forward Pennsylvania September 13, 1841 March 1, 1843
16   John C. Spencer New York March 8, 1843 May 2, 1844
17   George M. Bibb Kentucky July 4, 1844 March 7, 1845
18   Robert J. Walker Mississippi March 8, 1845 March 5, 1849 James K. Polk
19   William M. Meredith Pennsylvania March 8, 1849 July 22, 1850 Zachary Taylor
20   Thomas Corwin Ohio July 23, 1850 March 6, 1853 Millard Fillmore
21   James Guthrie Kentucky March 7, 1853 March 6, 1857 Franklin Pierce
22   Howell Cobb Georgia March 7, 1857 December 8, 1860 James Buchanan
23   Philip Francis Thomas Maryland December 12, 1860 January 14, 1861
24   John Adams Dix New York January 15, 1861 March 6, 1861
25   Salmon P. Chase Ohio March 7, 1861 June 30, 1864 Abraham Lincoln
26   William P. Fessenden Maine July 5, 1864 March 3, 1865
27   Hugh McCulloch Indiana March 9, 1865 March 3, 1869
Andrew Johnson
28   George S. Boutwell Massachusetts March 12, 1869 March 16, 1873 Ulysses S. Grant
29   William Adams Richardson Massachusetts March 17, 1873 June 3, 1874
30   Benjamin Bristow Kentucky June 4, 1874 June 20, 1876
31   Lot M. Morrill Maine July 7, 1876 March 9, 1877
32   John Sherman Ohio March 10, 1877 March 3, 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes
33   William Windom Minnesota March 8, 1881 November 13, 1881 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
34   Charles J. Folger New York November 14, 1881 September 4, 1884
35   Walter Q. Gresham Indiana September 5, 1884 October 30, 1884
36   Hugh McCulloch Indiana October 31, 1884 March 7, 1885
37   Daniel Manning New York March 8, 1885 March 31, 1887 Grover Cleveland
38   Charles S. Fairchild New York April 1, 1887 March 6, 1889
39   William Windom Minnesota March 7, 1889 January 29, 1891 Benjamin Harrison
40   Charles Foster Ohio February 25, 1891 March 6, 1893
41   John G. Carlisle Kentucky March 7, 1893 March 5, 1897 Grover Cleveland
42   Lyman J. Gage Illinois March 6, 1897 January 31, 1902 William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
43   L. M. Shaw Iowa February 1, 1902 March 3, 1907
44   George B. Cortelyou New York March 4, 1907 March 7, 1909
45   Franklin MacVeagh Illinois March 8, 1909 March 5, 1913 William Howard Taft
46   William G. McAdoo New York March 6, 1913 December 15, 1918 Woodrow Wilson
47   Carter Glass Virginia December 16, 1918 February 1, 1920
48   David F. Houston Missouri February 2, 1920 March 3, 1921
49   Andrew W. Mellon Pennsylvania March 4, 1921 February 12, 1932 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
50   Ogden L. Mills New York February 13, 1932 March 4, 1933
51   William H. Woodin New York March 5, 1933 December 31, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt
52   Henry Morgenthau, Jr. New York January 1, 1934 July 22, 1945
53   Fred M. Vinson Kentucky July 23, 1945 June 23, 1946 Harry S. Truman
54   John Wesley Snyder Missouri June 25, 1946 January 20, 1953
55   George M. Humphrey Ohio January 21, 1953 July 29, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower
56   Robert B. Anderson Connecticut July 29, 1957 January 20, 1961
57   C. Douglas Dillon New Jersey January 21, 1961 April 1, 1965 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
58   Henry H. Fowler Virginia April 1, 1965 December 20, 1968
59   Joseph W. Barr Indiana December 21, 1968 January 20, 1969
60   David M. Kennedy Utah January 22, 1969 February 10, 1971 Richard Nixon
61   John Connally Texas February 11, 1971 June 12, 1972
62   George P. Shultz Illinois June 12, 1972 May 8, 1974
63   William E. Simon New Jersey May 8, 1974 January 20, 1977
Gerald Ford
64   W. Michael Blumenthal Michigan January 23, 1977 August 4, 1979 Jimmy Carter
65   G. William Miller Rhode Island August 7, 1979 January 20, 1981
66   Donald Regan New Jersey January 22, 1981 February 1, 1985 Ronald Reagan
67   James Baker Texas February 4, 1985 August 17, 1988
  M. Peter McPherson
[b]
Michigan August 17, 1988 September 15, 1988
68   Nicholas F. Brady New Jersey September 15, 1988 January 17, 1993
George H. W. Bush
69   Lloyd Bentsen Texas January 20, 1993 December 22, 1994 Bill Clinton
  Frank N. Newman
[b]
Massachusetts December 22, 1994 January 11, 1995
70   Robert Rubin New York January 11, 1995 July 2, 1999
71   Lawrence Summers Massachusetts July 2, 1999 January 20, 2001
72   Paul H. O'Neill Pennsylvania January 20, 2001 December 31, 2002 George W. Bush
  Kenneth W. Dam
[b]
Illinois December 31, 2002 February 3, 2003
73   John W. Snow Virginia February 3, 2003 June 30, 2006
  Robert M. Kimmitt
[b]
Virginia June 30, 2006 July 10, 2006
74   Henry Paulson Illinois July 10, 2006 January 20, 2009
  Stuart A. Levey
[c]
Ohio January 20, 2009 January 26, 2009 Barack Obama
75   Timothy Geithner New York January 26, 2009 January 25, 2013
  Neal S. Wolin
[b]
Illinois January 25, 2013 February 28, 2013
76   Jack Lew New York February 28, 2013 January 20, 2017
  Adam J. Szubin
[c]
Washington, D.C. January 20, 2017 February 13, 2017 Donald Trump
77   Steven Mnuchin California February 13, 2017 January 20, 2021
  Andy Baukol
[d]
Virginia January 20, 2021 January 26, 2021 Joe Biden
78   Janet Yellen California January 26, 2021 Incumbent
 
The former flag of the U.S. secretary of the treasury, originating from the 19th century.

If both the secretary and the deputy secretary of the treasury are unable to carry out the duties of the office of secretary of the treasury, then whichever treasury official of under secretary rank sworn in earliest assumes the role of acting secretary. Positions listed on the Department of the Treasury website include the under secretary for domestic finance, the under secretary for international affairs, and the under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Living former secretaries of the treasuryEdit

As of May 2022, there are ten living former secretaries of the treasury (with all secretaries that have served since 2003 still living), the oldest being W. Michael Blumenthal (served 1977–1979, born 1926). The most recent secretary of the treasury to die was George Shultz (served 1972–1974, born 1920) on February 6, 2021. The most recently serving secretary to die was Paul H. O'Neill (served 2001–2002, born 1935), on April 18, 2020.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
W. Michael Blumenthal 1977–1979 (1926-01-03) January 3, 1926 (age 96)
James A. Baker 1985–1988 (1930-04-28) April 28, 1930 (age 92)
Nicholas F. Brady 1988–1993 (1930-04-11) April 11, 1930 (age 92)
Robert Rubin 1995–1999 (1938-08-29) August 29, 1938 (age 83)
Lawrence H. Summers 1999–2001 (1954-11-30) November 30, 1954 (age 67)
John W. Snow 2003–2006 (1939-08-02) August 2, 1939 (age 82)
Henry Paulson 2006–2009 (1946-03-28) March 28, 1946 (age 76)
Timothy F. Geithner 2009–2013 (1961-08-18) August 18, 1961 (age 60)
Jack Lew 2013–2017 (1955-08-29) August 29, 1955 (age 66)
Steven Mnuchin 2017–2021 (1962-12-21) December 21, 1962 (age 59)

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "3 U.S. Code § 19 – Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". LII / Legal Information Institute.
  2. ^ 31 U.S.C. § 301
  3. ^ a b 5 U.S.C. § 5312
  4. ^ Cabinets and Counselors: The President and the Executive Branch (1997). Congressional Quarterly. p. 87.
  5. ^ "Janet L. Yellen Sworn In As 78th Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Treasury. January 26, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2021.{{cite press release}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Tappe, Anneken; Egan, Matt (January 25, 2021). "Janet Yellen is confirmed as the first female Treasury secretary in US history". cnn.com. Retrieved January 26, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Duties & Functions: Secretaries of the Treasury". United States Department of the Treasury. Archived from the original on November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  8. ^ "What is lawful money? How is it different from legal tender?". federalreserve.gov. September 29, 2011. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "Salary Table No. 2021-EX Rates of Basic Pay for the Executive Schedule (EX)" (PDF).

External linksEdit

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Retired Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Order of precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Treasury
Succeeded byas Secretary of Defense
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by 5th in line Succeeded by