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|Paul H. O’Neill|
Paul O’Neill was appointed the 72nd Secretary of the U.S. Treasury on January 20, 2001, by President George W. Bush. Months later, the country faced 9/11, which precipitated both a sudden downturn in U.S. economic growth and uncertainty worldwide. Secretary O’Neill helped restore confidence by vowing to eliminate the funding source of terrorist attacks and was instrumental in establishing a special task force within the Department of the Treasury to combat terrorist financing. This initiative ultimately led to the creation of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Secretary O’Neill also was an outspoken critic on the complexity of our nation’s tax code. He believed the code was inhibiting personal as well as corporate growth in America, and he became one of the administration’s leading advocates for change.
From 1987 to 1999, Mr. O’Neill served as Chairman and CEO of Alcoa, the aluminum giant with 140,000 employees operating in 36 countries. Under his leadership, Alcoa’s revenues increased from $1.5 billion to $23 billion. While at Alcoa, O’Neill developed a reputation as an independent-minded business leader who placed a strong emphasis on worker safety and employee health plans. His unique experience transforming an old-economy firm into a new-economy success has been chronicled as a case study by the Harvard Business School and explored in business schools across the nation. He retired as Alcoa’s Chairman in 2000.
Mr. O’Neill is a national leader in confronting the complex issues of health care and has long supported patient safety and quality. He is a member of the National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute. In 1997, he co-founded the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative to address the problems of regional health care. He currently serves on the External Advisory Council for the James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. His dedication to excellence in health care is further evidenced through his position on many boards and committees, including the Advisory Group for the National Leadership Commission on Healthcare; the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety; Janetta Neuroscience Foundation; RAND Board of Health; Advisory Board, Stanford University School of Medicine, Clinical Excellence Research Center; Thedacare Center for Healthcare Value; and the American Red Cross.
Mr. O’Neill’s influence in public policy and corporate America is proven through his participation on many boards and committees, including Qcept Technologies, Inc., Celanese Corp., TRW Automotive Holdings, the Center for Global Development, and The Peterson Institute for International Economics. He currently serves as the Non-Executive Chairman for Value Capture LLC. Mr. O’Neill is known for speaking his mind, and his story is the centerpiece of the book The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill (2004) written by Ron Suskind, a former Wall Street Journal reporter.