Geithner to Dartmouth? A Family Secret Gets Leaked

Tim Geithner could be heading back to school, so to speak—at least if his chatty father-in-law is to be believed.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

If Geithner, as expected, steps down from his post as Treasury secretary at the end of President Obama's term this year, he may be headed back to his alma mater, Dartmouth College, according to a report in Tuesday's New York Post.

The item on the paper's Page Six gossip column quotes Albert Sonnenfeld, a food critic and father of the secretary's wife, Carole, as telling a group of "stunned" diners at Bar Boulud last week that the Geithner-to-Dartmouth move is part of a broader White House political strategy.

Obama apparently nominated Dr. Jim Yong Kim as World Bank president to clear him out of the Dartmouth presidency, which he has held for just over three years, Sonnenfeld said. That move would pave the way for Geithner, who graduated in 1983 from the Ivy League stalwart, following the footsteps of his father and paternal grandfather.

Interestingly, this isn't the first Geithner-to-Dartmouth rumor floated.

Dealbook pondered the same question a month ago, wondering whether the new college president would be Geithner or his Treasury predecessor, Hank Paulson.

Paulson also is a Dartmouth alum, having starred on the football team before embarking on his Wall Street-to-Washington career.

There appear to be two barriers to Geithner heading back to the ivory tower: First, Sonnenfeld himself said Geithner no longer wants the job, and second, the secretary's spokesman told the Post the story has "the disadvantage of being made up."

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