There has been a lot written and said over the past few weeks about who will succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration a few days ago and conventional wisdom now suggests that Senator John Kerry will be nominated and subsequently confirmed for the position.
It is odd to me, though, that there has not been equally intense discussion about who will serve as the next Secretary of Treasury since Tim Geithner has already announced that he will be leaving.
Yes, the events in Benghazi were perceived to add a layer of complexity to the context to the Secretary of State discussion. But Secretary Geithner has been leading the fiscal cliff negotiations with Congress on behalf of the president. Those negotiations have been equally, if not more, contentious and give good reason for the discussion about who will be the next Secretary of Treasury to receive more mainstream attention - especially since it appears the issues of comprehensive tax reform, entitlement spending and raising the debt ceiling will be at front and center during the first 100 days of the next session of Congress.
Insiders say that Jack Lew, the president's current chief of staff, will likely be the next secretary of Treasury. When you look at the gridlock that Washington insiders have created over the past two years, I suggest that now would be a good time to bring someone from outside Washington to serve.
Who? I am glad you asked.
How about Ken Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express? Chenault has led American Express, one of the world's leading finance companies, since 2001. There is no question he has had a successful tenure with the company and his businessman's perspective on the global economy could serve the country well.
Another option? Cedric Bobo, principal with the Carlyle Group. Bobo, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Harvard University, has vast experience in the industrial and transportation sectors, sectors which need intense attention in America. Additionally, Bobo has created Charter Board Partners, a headhunting firm which leverages Carlyle's vaunted network of business connections to place senior and C-level executives on the boards of charter schools.
One more? John Rogers, founder, chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments, LLC. A graduate of Princeton, Rogers founded Ariel Investments, the largest minority-run mutual fund firm in the United States. Rogers founded his firm with $10,000 in 1983. It now has $4.7 billion in assets under management. His conservative, value-based approach to financial management is legendary and, clearly, effective.
Any of these three would serve the country well at Treasury. There are others who could, too. Hopefully, the president and his advisors will consider a truly diverse field of candidates as they decide whom to nominate for this critical cabinet position.
Karl Douglass, Columbus native and resident, is a frequent commenter on local, state and federal politics. Follow him on Twitter@KarlDouglass or facebook.com/karldouglass.