Although born in New York City, Timothy Geithner spent most of his childhood living abroad, including in Africa, India, and Thailand, where he attended high school at the International School of Bangkok. Though not an economist, Geithner served as the 75th Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2009 to 2013, where he helped steer the economy out of one of the most devastating financial crises the country had ever experienced. Prior to that, Geithner was only 42 when he took over the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, serving as president and CEO for six years. In 1988, he first joined the Treasury Department as a civil servant and worked his way up the ranks, holding a number of increasingly important positions in three administrations, showing how valuable he was regardless of the political party in charge. Following his years of public service, Geithner now divides his time between numerous endeavors, which includes nonprofit boards, academia, and the private sector, where he currently presides over Warburg Pincus, a global equity firm. Considered to be one of the foremost experts in international trade, Geithner is also the author of STRESS TEST: Reflections on Financial Crises.
Following in the footsteps of his father, uncle, and grandfather, Geithner enrolled in Dartmouth College in 1979. It was a cultural shock to the young man, who hadn't lived in the U.S. for more than three years prior to freshman orientation. Leveraging his unique background, he decided to develop his knowledge of government and foreign languages. Susan Blader, Dartmouth professor of Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literature who instructed Geithner in Chinese during his freshman year, said he was a “natural language learner.” Geithner was also able to pursue his passion for photography and even worked as a photographer for campus events. His college years happened to coincide with China's first attempts to open to the West, and Geithner was among some of the first U.S. students who were able to study in China during their college summers. In 1983, having double majored, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Asian Studies from Dartmouth College.
As a legacy student with multigenerational bonds, Geithner has always remained strongly attached to his Dartmouth roots. In 2011, for instance, he was willing to put his Treasury Secretary duties aside long enough for a campus visit. Sponsored by his alma mater, Geithner was the main attraction for one of Dartmouth's “Leading Voices in Politics and Policy,” a prestigious affair that brings nationally recognized experts and presidential candidates to Hanover, New Hampshire each summer. Geithner was back again in 2014 to speak with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine about the Sisyphean challenge of fixing the 2008 economic crash. During the interview, he also spoke fondly of the important role Dartmouth played in his professional career, noting that while he didn't study economics, not even taking a single course at Dartmouth, he certainly "learned a more important thing, which is the beginnings of how to think critically."