Lawrence H. Summers
Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University

Who is America?

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Americans are defined by their openness, non-conformity and their reason, says Larry Summers.

Lawrence H. Summers

Lawrence H. Summers is an American economist. He is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University, where he became one of the university's youngest tenured faculty at age 28.

The author of over 150 journal articles, Dr. Summers' wide-ranging contributions to economic research were recognized with the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the outstanding American economist under the age of 40. He was also the first social scientist to receive the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award for outstanding scientific achievement.

Beyond his academic career, Dr. Summers has held a number of distinguished appointments in government. He previously served as Director of the National Economic Council for the Obama Administration, Secretary of the Treasury for the Clinton Administration, and Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Lawrence Summers received his S.B. from MIT and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. He and his wife Elisa New, a professor of English at Harvard, have six children.


Lawrence Summers: I think that for all its problems, the American system does stand out for its openness, for its reduced insistence on conformity, for its commitment to reason. And therefore I'm hopeful that we will find our way, and that leadership from the United States will be essential in shaping the way all these developments play out internationally.


Recorded On: June 13,  2007