About Paul H. O'Neill

The legacy of Paul H. O'Neill

Paul H. O’Neill's career is marked by leadership and vision, which he has applied across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors—the same three sectors of the economy we address in our teaching and research.

Paul O’Neill at the dedication of the O’Neill Graduate Center in Bloomington.

O’Neill is known for his dedication to public and community service and his strong sense of integrity—occasionally in the face of powerful opposition.

He started his public service career as a computer systems analyst with the U.S. Veterans Administration in the early 1960s. After obtaining his M.P.A. from Indiana University through the federal government’s Education for Public Management program, he returned to Washington, D.C., and worked with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for 10 years, ultimately serving as deputy director.

In 2001, O’Neill became the 72nd secretary of the treasury. Shortly after 9/11, O’Neill presided over a sudden downturn in U.S. economic growth but restored confidence by vowing to eliminate the funding source of terrorist attacks. He was instrumental in setting up a special task force to combat terrorist financing. O’Neill was an outspoken critic of the complexity of the U.S. tax code and an advocate for policy action on climate change. He resigned in 2002 over major policy differences with President George W. Bush’s administration.

Paul H. O'Neill

A real leader hungers for the responsibility of making a difference.

Paul H. O'Neill