Kenneth W. Dam

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Kenneth W. Dam
Kenneth Dam.jpg
9th United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
In office
January 20, 2001 – July 13, 2004
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byStuart E. Eizenstat
Succeeded bySamuel Bodman
8th United States Deputy Secretary of State
In office
September 23, 1982 – June 15, 1985
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byWalter J. Stoessel Jr.
Succeeded byJohn C. Whitehead
Personal details
Kenneth Willard Dam

(1932-08-10)August 10, 1932
Marysville, Kansas, U.S.
DiedMay 31, 2022(2022-05-31) (aged 89)
Long Grove, Illinois, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Kansas (B.A.)
University of Chicago Law School (J.D.)

Kenneth Willard Dam (August 10, 1932 – May 31, 2022) was an American politician and academic who served as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (the second highest official in the United States Department of the Treasury) from 2001 to 2004, where he specialized in international economic development. He was a senior fellow of the Brookings Institution and a professor emeritus and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

Early life and education[edit]

Kenneth Willard Dam was born in Marysville, Kansas, the son of Ida (Hueppelheiser) and Oliver Dam, a grain and chicken farmer. His grandparents were German and Danish immigrants.[1] He graduated from Marysville High School, in 1950 and from the University of Kansas in 1954, and earned his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago law school in 1957. He then served as a law clerk to United States Supreme Court justice Charles Whittaker in 1957 and 1958. He became an associate at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore until he joined the University of Chicago as a law professor in 1960, becoming provost in 1980. Dam was a longtime director of the University of Chicago Law School's program in Law & Economics.[2]


Dam held a number of government positions during various Republican administrations while on leave from the University of Chicago:

  • Program Assistant Director for national security and international affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (1971–1973)
  • Executive Director of the White House Council on Economic Policy (1973)
  • Deputy Secretary of State (1982–1985)

After leaving the Reagan administration in 1985, Dam became vice president for law and external relations at IBM until 1992. He served as president and CEO of the United Way of America in 1992, and helped lead an investigation of a highly publicized scandal in the leadership of that organization and reorganize its staff and governance.[2] He then rejoined the University of Chicago law school faculty.

He has also been an arbitrator, most notably from 1996 to 2001 under the collective bargaining agreement between professional basketball players and the National Basketball Association.[2] Dam has served on the board of a number of public policy institutions, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and the Brookings Institution. He was co-chairman of the Aspen Strategy Group from 1991 to 2001 and was, during 1999 and 2000, chairman of the German-American Academic Council. From 1987 to 2001 he was a member of the board of Alcoa. He is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[3] He first participated in their annual conference in 1983 when he was Under Deputy Secretary of State. He would miss only one conference between 1983 and 1997 and participate again in 2001 and 2002.


  • The Law-Growth Nexus: The Rule of Law and Economic Development, Brookings Institution Press, 2006 ISBN 0-8157-1720-2
  • The Rules of the Global Game: A New Look at US International Economic Playmaking, University Of Chicago Press, 2001 ISBN 0-226-13493-8
  • Economic Policy Beyond the Headlines, with George P. Shultz, University of Chicago Press, second edition 1998 ISBN 0-226-75599-1
  • The Rules of the Game: Reform and Evolution in the International Monetary System, University of Chicago Press, 1982 ISBN 0-226-13499-7
  • Oil Resources: Who Gets What How?, University of Chicago Press, 1978 ISBN 0-226-13498-9

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roberts, Sam (2022-06-13). "Kenneth Dam, Deputy in Reagan and George W. Bush Cabinets, Dies at 89". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  2. ^ a b c Gillespie, Becky (Fall 2022). "Kenneth W. Dam, 1932-2022".
  3. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-02-08.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by United States Deputy Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Secretary of the Treasury

Succeeded by