Public Agenda
Peter G. Peterson Honorary Member

Since establishing the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in 2008, Peter G. Peterson has led the organization in examining critical challenges including the federal budget deficit, dismal national and personal savings rates, and a ballooning national debt endangering the viability of Social Security, Medicare and the overall economy.

As co-founder and chairman emeritus of The Blackstone Group, Mr. Peterson now dedicates his time to the foundation and other charitable activities, a continuation of his long record of advocacy for securing America's future. Some three decades ago, he chaired the commission which recommended that foundations be required to give away at least five percent of their assets annually, a rule the government adopted and which still holds today.

Prior to starting The Blackstone Group, Mr. Peterson was chairman and chief executive officer of Lehman Brothers and later held the same posts at Lehman Brothers, Kuhn, Loeb Inc. Early in his career, he was at Bell & Howell for 13 years, as executive vice president, director, and finally, as chief executive officer.

From 2000 to 2004, he was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During the Nixon administration, Mr. Peterson served in positions including Secretary of Commerce, chairman of the National Commission on Productivity, executive director of the Council on Economic Policy, assistant to the president on International Economic Affairs, ambassador-at-large to Europe and Asia, and chairman of the U.S.-Soviet Commercial Commission, which negotiated comprehensive trade, export-import credit, arbitration, copyright and lend-lease agreements.

Mr. Peterson is chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, founding chairman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, and founding president of The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan citizens' group advocating fiscal responsibility. Along with former U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, he co-chaired the Conference Board Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise. He has served as a director of numerous corporations and is the author of five books, including Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It and Gray Dawn: How the Coming Age Wave Will Transform America."

A graduate of Northwestern University, Mr. Peterson earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago. In addition, he has received honorary doctorate degrees from a number of universities. He has five children and nine grandchildren and lives in New York with his wife Joan Ganz Cooney, a director of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and co-founder of the Children's Television Workshop.