Paul H. O'Neill
O'Neill's reputation as a corporate turnaround specialist might come in handy as he grapples with the uncertainty of a slowing economy. He made his mark as chief executive of Pittsburgh-based Alcoa from 1987-99, (retiring as chairman in 2000), where he vastly cut management, boosted productivity, and repaired frayed relations with workers. From a field of candidates for Treasury Secretary, O'Neill was chosen as the only one not tied closely to Wall Street. A former Ford Administration colleague of Vice President Dick Cheney, O'Neill reportedly impressed President Bush with his direct manner. He has one of the busiest and most varied jobs in the Cabinet-serving as the chief agent and spokesman for economic policy, supervising tax collections, printing money, handling international economic events, and overseeing a large law enforcement bureaucracy. O'Neill got into a few scrapes in his first months on the job, surprising the financial markets with comments on the dollar, and generally earning a reputation as something of a loose cannon, but there is no evidence this has hurt him at the White House. For his tendency to drone on about obscure topics, some career officials call him "Dr. Strangelove," a reference to the early 1960s Peter Sellers movie about a nuclear Armageddon. Before Alcoa, O'Neill held senior posts with International Paper Co. from 1977-87, and before that spent 10 years at the Office of Management and Budget, the last three years as deputy director. He was born in St. Louis in 1935, graduated from Fresno State College with a bachelor's degree in economics, and earned a master's degree in public affairs at Indiana University.
Kenneth W. Dam
Deputy Secretary (designate)
Dam is part of the Reagan revival within the current Bush Administration. Dam and his mentor, former Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz, made news in 1998 when they mounted an attack on the International Monetary Fund and the idea of financial bailouts. In the Clinton years, the deputy secretary took the lead in averting such foreign crises. It is not clear whether Dam will do the same-in the Reagan and first Bush Administrations, the job was more of an administrative position. Meanwhile, Dam's confirmation to the No. 2 job at Treasury, and those of most of Treasury's top nominees, have been held up for months by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., under the threat of a filibuster. Helms is demanding changes to Customs Service regulations on textiles, but the Bush Administration says the changes must be accomplished legislatively. Dam, 68, has spent most of his career as a law professor at the University of Chicago, specializing in international economics. He held positions in the Nixon White House and then served as Schultz's deputy at State from 1982-85. After seven years as a vice president at IBM Corp., Dam worked in 1992 for a year as president of the United Way to help it recover from a scandal. He grew up in Kansas and attended the University of Kansas and the University of Chicago Law School.
Charles O. Rossotti
Commissioner of Internal Revenue
One of the few Cabinet department officials appointed to a fixed term, Rossotti intends to complete his five-year service, which expires in November 2002. His chief mandate is to implement the restructuring of the IRS that Congress approved in 1998-with Rossotti's active involvement. He previously reorganized the agency's regional structure, creating four operating divisions that serve individuals; small businesses and the self-employed; large businesses; tax-exempt groups and government entities. Despite his nonpartisan portfolio, he is under considerable pressure from Secretary O'Neill to ensure that an estimated 95 million income-tax rebate checks are distributed quickly and accurately this summer. Rossotti also has placed a high priority on the IRS's years-long battle to upgrade its often-outdated computer system-a project that has consumed huge amounts of dollars and effort, with disappointing results so far. And he must contend with the reality that the IRS remains an agency that Congress, and the public, love to hate; a recent complaint has been excessive audits. Rossotti, 60, came to the IRS from Fairfax, Va.-based American Management Systems Inc., an international business and information-technology consulting firm that he co-founded in 1970. He held administrative positions at the Pentagon during the Johnson presidency. A New York City native, he graduated from Georgetown University and received an MBA from Harvard.
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