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Lawrence Summers HWA Exclusive Speaker

"People will look back and say in the late 20th century, Henry Kissinger was the guru people looked to on international affairs and in the early 21st century, Larry Summers was the guru people looked to for understanding and enlightenment with regard to the economy here and internationally."

-David Gergen

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Lawrence H. Summers

Lawrence H. Summers

  • President Emeritus and the Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
  • Director, White House National Economic Council, 2009-2010
  • President, Harvard University, 2001-2006
  • Secretary of the Treasury, 1999-2001
  • Chief Economist of the World Bank, 1991-1993

An expert on domestic economics and a leading authority on international finance, Larry Summers is one of the most distinguished voices on issues ranging from the global economy to education to the role of the United States in the world. Prior to serving in the Obama Administration as Director of the White House National Economic Council, Dr. Summers was Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton Administration, President of Harvard University, and Chief Economist of the World Bank. Dr. Summers’ tenure at the U.S. Treasury coincided with the longest period of sustained economic growth in U.S. history. He is the only Treasury Secretary in the last half century to have left office with the national budget in surplus. During his tenure in the Obama Administration, Larry Summers emerged as a key economic decision-maker and continues to be called upon as the number one resource for the most pressing economic debates of the day.

Lawrence Summers Speech Topics

The Global Economic and Financial Outlook

Dr. Summers draws on his extensive experience as a macro-economic and financial thinker and as a key economic policy maker in the Obama and Clinton Administrations to lay out a vision for where the global economy and global markets are headed. He considers both risks, like secular stagnation, and opportunities, like the U.S. energy revolution, as he describes his outlook for the global economy.

Economic Possibilities for Our Children

Dr. Summers believes what we have seen so far is only the beginning of profound changes in the global economy that will arise from technological innovation. He describes how the world will be different a decade and a generation from now and he offers advice on how businesses, investors, managers, and governments should prepare. Dr. Summers foresees great opportunities, but warns that success cannot be taken for granted.

The American Future

Dr. Summers draws on his extensive experience to present a compelling vision for what the United States must do to restore to prosperity at home and strengthen its influence abroad. At a moment when American strength and vitality is both more in question and more essential than ever before, Dr. Summers discusses the key challenges and opportunities facing America.

Lawrence Summers Biography, Background, and Speaker Profile

Eminent Economist

As one of President Obama’s chief economic advisors, Dr. Summers’ thinking helped shape the U.S. response to the 2008 financial crisis, to the failure of the automobile industry, and to the pressures on the European monetary system.  The Economist recognized his influence when it defined the “Summers Doctrine,” an approach to economic policy during financial crises that fuses a microeconomic "laissez faire" mentality with macroeconomic activism. "Markets should allocate capital, labour and ideas without interference, but sometimes markets go haywire, and must be counteracted forcefully by government."

Currently, Dr. Summers is the President Emeritus and the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University, where he became a full professor at age 28, one of the youngest in Harvard’s recent history. He directs the University’s Mossavar-Rhomani Center for Business and Government. Summers was the first social scientist to receive the National Science Foundation's Alan Waterman Award for scientific achievement and, in 1993, he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the most outstanding economist under 40 in the United States. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002. He has published several books and more than 150 papers in scholarly journals.

Summers is an advisor to businesses and investors. He serves on the board of two cutting edge financial services startups—Square and Lending Club. He also chairs the boards of Citizen Schools and the Center for Global Development and serves on the executive committee of the board for Teach for America. He recently chaired the Commission on Global Health, lauded by the UN Secretary General who noted that it “will bring more than health – it will bring equity, and contribute to a life of dignity for all.”

World Renowned Authority

Dr. Summers has played a key role in addressing every major financial crisis for the last two decades. During the 1990s, he was a leader in crafting the U.S. response to international financial crises arising in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Japan, and Asian emerging markets. President Bill Clinton said that Larry Summers "has the rare ability to see the world that is taking shape and the skill to help to bring it into being." He has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential thinkers by Time, Foreign Policy, Prospect and The Economist magazines among many others. In his speeches, regular newspaper columns in The Financial Times and public commentary, he continues to move forward the debate on national and global economic policy.

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