The Council on Foreign Relations established the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics in 1997 to honor Paul A. Volcker, long active at CFR and a former member of its Board of Directors, an outstanding public servant, and a leading international economist. The chair recognizes his stellar accomplishments and gives CFR a leading presence in international economics.
Paul A. Volcker
Paul A. Volcker was chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1979 to 1987, and is credited with a leading role in ending a period of high and rising inflation and restoring a base for sustained growth. Initially appointed to that position by President Jimmy Carter for a four-year term, he was reappointed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. Upon completion of his second term as Federal Reserve chairman, Volcker became chairman of Wolfensohn & Co., a prominent investment banking firm. He retired as chairman and chief executive officer of Wolfensohn & Co. upon the merger of that firm in 1996 with the Bankers Trust Company. Immediately before becoming chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System in 1979, Volcker spent more than four years as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the principal operating arm of the system.
Volcker also served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as director of financial analysis in 1962, undersecretary for monetary affairs from 1963 to 1965, and undersecretary for international and monetary affairs from 1969 to 1974. As undersecretary, he was responsible for developing and implementing treasury debt management and federal credit policies. On behalf of the United States, he conducted international monetary negotiations during the transition from the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system to the more flexible system of floating rates that has prevailed since the early 1970s.
Volcker has served on numerous public and private advisory boards, corporate boards of directors, and international commissions.
Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellows in International Economics