Erskine Bowles was appointed to the position of co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in February 2010. Currently the president of the University of North Carolina, Bowles announced his plans to retire as soon as a replacement has been found. Bowles is also a former Clinton White House chief of staff.
Bowles began his business career at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York as an associate in the corporate finance group. In that position, he provided corporate finance expertise to America’s middle-market companies. After a while, he returned to his home state of North Carolina, where he founded and served as chairman and CEO of an investment banking firm that became Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co. Bowles also was a founder of Kitty Hawk Capital, a venture capital company, and Carousel Capital, a middle-market private equity company.
In 1993, Bowles was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as director of the Small Business Administration, and later was tapped to serve as deputy White House chief of staff (1994-95) and White House chief of staff (1996-98). As chief of staff, he helped negotiate the first balanced budget in a generation. As a member of the National Economic Council and National Security Council, he helped guide domestic and foreign policy.
Prior to serving as deputy White House chief of staff, Bowles helped direct the government’s response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. After he left the White House, he also served from 1999 to 2001 as a general partner of Forstmann Little, a private equity firm. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004, and currently serves on the boards of Morgan Stanley and Cousins Properties.
Bowles graduated from the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967, and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in 1969. He holds eight honorary doctorates from universities and colleges throughout America.