For over half a century, Robert Rubin has glided between Washington and Wall Street as a banking executive, lawyer, and former U.S. presidential cabinet member. From 1995 until 1999 he served as our nation's 70th Secretary of the Treasury, where he is given much of the credit for the Clinton administration’s economic policies. This includes handling the Asian financial crises while domestically setting the first balanced budget in decades.
Prior to his government service, Rubin spent three decades on Wall Street where he was co-chairman of Goldman Sachs. His post-government roles include serving as director and temporary chairman of Citigroup, the world’s largest financial company. During his tenure there he received more than $126 million in cash and stock. As of today, Rubin is active in several organizations and is a senior counselor at an investment banking advisory firm. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Mount Sinai Medical Center and is a member of the Harvard Corporation. He is also the co-author of a New York Times bestseller, and one of Business Week's ten best business books of the year. He has received honorary degrees from Harvard, Columbia, and other top universities.
Although Rubin had no intention of becoming a lawyer, he enrolled in Yale Law School in the fall of 1961. Harvard Law had also admitted him, but Rubin felt that, "at Harvard Law School you sit around and discuss contracts and at Yale you sit around and discuss the meaning of good and evil." Simply put, Rubin saw Yale Law as a way to keep his professional options open. In New Haven, he found a place highly congenial to the development of his philosophical mind. "In addition to classes and the library, I spent a lot of time discussing issues ranging from the Vietnam War to the nature of the good life." Rubin's hard work paid off and in 1964 he received a Bachelor of Laws degree from Yale Law School.
Over the years Rubin has been open about his love for Yale and the time he spent there. In 2001, during Yale's historic 300th Commencement, Rubin's contributions to the nation were honored by his alma mater who bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate degree in law. Nor was that the only time that the former secretary of the U.S. Treasury was seen on campus. Both in 2001 and 2009 the much sought-after finance expert was back in New Haven, sharing a stage with other famous alumni, like Oliver Stone, Tom Wolfe, and George H.W. Bush, to lend his expertise to Yale students who continue to benefit from his legacy of excellence.