Introducing, my friend US Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyamo. This is walking Black History. He is the highest ranking person of African decent in the history of the US Treasury Department, and he’s the US official that unethical foreign leaders around the world (you can fill in the blanks here) fear the most, as the department that handles U.S. sanctions reports to him.
He is also the man who, along with Amias Moore Gerety from US Treasury, helped to shepherd my recommendation to then US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to rename the then U.S. Treasury Annex Building to the Freedman’s Bank Building, in honor of the former slaves who placed every dollar they have into this bank following the Civil War.
The renaming of the Freedman’s Bank also inspired the Freedman’s Bank Forum, which continues to be organized and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Recently I was honored to join Deputy Secretary Adeyamo as he toured Atlanta, Ga, and met with leaders here, including U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, Atlanta Chamber CEO Katie Kirkpatrick, civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young, and many more.
Here’s more about my friend. Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo (born May 20, 1981) is a Nigerian-American government official serving as the United States deputy secretary of the treasury. He was the first president of the Obama Foundation and also served during the Obama administration as the deputy national security advisor for international economics from 2015 to 2016 and deputy director of the National Economic Council.
On March 26, 2021, Wally Adeyemo was sworn in as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also making a historic mark as the nation’s first woman Treasury Secretary.
He has been at the center of many of the country’s major economic policy decisions since the 2008 Financial Crisis and has worked in organizations across the public, private, and non-profit sectors to build a stronger and fairer economy.
As Deputy Secretary, Adeyemo serves as the Treasury Department’s number two official and chief operating officer. Adeyemo has taken a leading role in Treasury’s national security, economic inequality, and pandemic-related economic recovery work, while supporting the Secretary in driving the Department’s fundamental mission: promoting economic growth and ensuring the financial security of the United States.
This is Adeyemo’s second tour at the Treasury Department. His first began in the early days of the Obama Administration, during the depths of the Great Recession. Rising through a variety of leadership roles at Treasury, Adeyemo became Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff under Secretary Tim Geithner and Secretary Jack Lew, as well as chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s provisions on macroeconomic policy.
From 2015 to 2017, Adeyemo served in the Obama White House as Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. Adeyemo was responsible for coordinating the policymaking process related to international finance, trade and investment, energy, and environmental issues. He also served as President Obama’s representative to the G7 and G20.
Adeyemo also served as the first Chief of Staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was founded after the financial crisis to protect Americans from unfair, deceptive, or abusive consumer financial practices. Adeyemo helped build out the Bureau’s initial executive leadership team and served as a member of its executive committee.
After leaving government in 2017, Adeyemo served as the first president of the Obama Foundation, where he worked with the former president and first lady to help them continue giving back to the country as private citizens. Adeyemo also served as a Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and at BlackRock.
Adeyemo was previously a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, which promotes widespread economic opportunity and the competitiveness of America. He also served on the boards of Demos, a New York-based think tank focused on social, political, and economic equity issues; the Golden State Opportunity Foundation, which works to provide financial security to low-income working people throughout California; and Just Homes, a faith-based affordable housing initiative based in Washington, DC.
Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, Adeyemo immigrated to California’s Inland Empire as young child with his parents, an educator and a nurse. He attended the University of California, Berkeley and Yale Law School.