Remembering a larger-than-life public servant: Paul Volcker

By Max Stier | December 9, 2019

Paul Volcker was a giant in all respects, and his passing is a true loss for the public service and our country.

Paul was a model public servant in the best sense of the word. He was a deeply committed patriot and statesman, who valued the people who served in government and understood that our country’s success depends on the quality of our public servants.

An accomplished, larger-than-life figure, Paul leaves a multidimensional legacy. He is well-known and highly regarded as the man who tamped down inflation. He also went after corruption and government inefficiency, both in our country and globally.

During his remarkable public service career, Paul advised presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. He held a series of critical government positions in which he maintained the highest ethical standards, promoted important financial reforms and exercised tremendous influence over U.S. economic policy.

He twice headed a nonpartisan Commission on the Public Service that recommended sweeping changes in the federal government’s organization and personnel practices. He was outspoken about the importance of an effective government, and the need to restore faith in government, and emphasized that he would like his legacy to be his “attention to public service” rather than his economic achievements.

Earlier this year, we named our Service to America Career Achievement Medal for Paul in recognition of his nearly three decades of distinguished federal service. I can’t think of a better model for public service than Paul Volcker, or another person more deserving. We consider it an honor for our recipients to win an award associated with Paul’s accomplishments, particularly one that celebrates a long career in public service.

On a personal level, I will also remember how fun he was to be around and how he pushed me to be my best.

And I will always be grateful.

Our deepest condolences to Paul’s family and friends on behalf of all us at the Partnership for Public Service.


Max Stier