- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 9, 2003


President Bush yesterday chose a University of Maryland dean to take over the No. 2 slot at the Treasury Department and a Goldman Sachs executive to become the department’s liaison with Wall Street.

They are the latest personnel changes at the department where Secretary Paul O’Neill lost his job last year as part of a shake-up of the president’s economics team.

Mr. Bush said he will nominate Susan Schwab, dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs, to be the department’s deputy secretary. The position has been vacant since late February with the departure of Ken Dam.

The president also announced he will nominate Kenneth Leet, a managing director of the investment banking division of the Goldman Sachs Group — where he has also worked in mergers and acquisitions — to become Treasury’s undersecretary of domestic finance. Peter Fisher, who currently holds that post, announced yesterday he would leave the department Oct. 10.

Miss Schwab served in the Commerce Department of the first Bush administration and previously was chief economist for Sen. John Danforth, Missouri Republican, and a trade negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She earned a doctorate at the George Washington University School of Business and Public Management. Mr. Leet holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

Both nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.

Mr. Fisher, whose resignation was expected, cited personal reasons for his upcoming departure from the job he has held since August 2001.

“I have come to the conclusion that it will be best for my family to return to New Jersey,” Mr. Fisher wrote in a letter to Mr. Bush.

A registered Democrat, Mr. Fisher played a crucial role in efforts to minimize disruption to financial markets after the September 11 attacks, which forced the temporary shutdown of the stock market.

He also played an important role in overseeing the government’s finances, announcing in 2001 that the Treasury Department would no longer sell 30-year Treasury bonds and would instead rely on shorter-term securities, which pay lower interest rates, to finance the national debt and save in borrowing costs.

“His expertise in financial markets has been invaluable as we faced challenges related to the terrorist attacks,” said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, who took over the department in February.

Mr. Fisher’s skills also helped “management of the nation’s debt during shifting economic times,” Mr. Snow said.

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