Trump nominates U.Va. adjunct professor for deputy treasury secretary

Goldman Sachs executive Jim Donovan awaits Senate confirmation


Donovan will play a large role in the Trump Administration, specifically with tax reform changes for corporate and individual tax codes.

Courtesy University of Virginia

Jim Donovan, University Law adjunct professor and longtime Goldman Sachs managerial executive, has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the deputy secretary of the Treasury in the new administration.

Donovan succeeds Sarah Bloom Raskin, who has been the deputy secretary for the past three years under the Obama administration. Donovan would report to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February by a vote of 53-47. Mnuchin is also a Goldman Sachs alumnus.

Donovan will play a large role in the Trump administration, specifically with tax reform changes for corporate and individual tax codes. He will work closely with Mnuchin, whose responsibilities include everything from regulating the printing of physical currency to enforcing economic sanctions on international countries.

He graduated from MIT with a B.S. in chemical engineering and an MBA from MIT Sloan School in 1989. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1993. Donovan has taught short courses in corporate strategy and business ethics at the University’s School of Law since 2009.

Law School Dean Risa Goluboff lauded Donovan as an educator in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily.

“Jim Donovan has been teaching courses in our Law & Business Program for eight years, and during that time he has given our students unique and invaluable instruction in corporate strategy and client relations,” Goluboff said. “We are fortunate to have him as a member of the U.Va. Law community and hope to have him back when he concludes his public service.”

In addition to teaching, Donovan has a long history with the Goldman Sachs firm. Donovan joined Goldman in 1993, became a partner in 2000 and soon after became a managing director for the firm. Donovan helped build Goldman’s private wealth management unit, which manages billions of dollars for its clients.

Donovan has advised large corporate clients, including Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney. In Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, Donovan described his role as a trusted advisor to the campaign. Romney tweeted his support for the appointment on March 14.

“I'm a fan of proposed Deputy Treasury Secretary Jim Donovan,” Romney wrote. “A qualified person of integrity and a friend for many years.”

Donovan joined the Trump transition team after a meeting last year with Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Donovan has spent the recent months helping Mnuchin with staff hirings at the Treasury Department.

Critics of Trump have not positively received the appointment of Donovan due to his ties to Goldman Sachs. Trump was highly critical of Goldman Sachs on the campaign trail, tweeting criticism against Goldman Sachs for “owning” candidates like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Donovan would be the fifth high-profile figure with experience at Goldman Sachs to join the Trump administration. Other appointments include White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council at the White House.

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