Robert Steel, Former Wachovia President and CEO, named to Hospital for Special Surgery Board of Trustees

NEW YORK—September 25, 2009

Hospital for Special Surgery announced today that Robert K. Steel, former president and chief executive officer of Wachovia Corporation, has been named a member of the hospital’s Board of Trustees.

Steel facilitated Wachovia’s merger with Wells Fargo to create the second-largest retail brokerage in the country. Prior to running Wachovia, Steel served in the U.S. Treasury Department as under secretary for domestic finance, a Senate-confirmed position. In that role, he was the principal adviser to Secretary Henry Paulson on matters of domestic finance and led the department's activities regarding the domestic financial system, fiscal policy and operations, and governmental assets and liabilities.

Robert K. Steel, former president and CEO of Wachovia and new member of the HSS Board of Trustees
Robert K. Steel, former president and CEO of Wachovia and new member of the HSS Board of Trustees

“All on the Board of Trustees are delighted to have someone of the caliber of Robert Steel join us to help guide the future of our institution as a leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and their related disciplines,” said Aldo Papone, co-chair of the Board of Trustees at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Hospital Board Co-Chair Dean R. O’Hare added, “As patients continue to seek Hospital for Special Surgery’s world class services in record numbers, we are very pleased Robert Steel is here to support this institution and the superb team of people who work here.”

Steel brings a wealth of experience to the Hospital for Special Surgery Board. He regularly testified before House and Senate Committees on matters such as reform at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, foreclosure prevention, and the rescue of Bear Stearns. Steel also oversaw the creation of the Treasury’s “Blueprint for a Modernized Regulatory Structure,” a watershed report that proposed key reforms since pursued by the Obama administration. In 2008, Steel was honored with the Alexander Hamilton Award, the highest award given to a Treasury Department official.

Before joining the Treasury, Steel served as a senior fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Steel co-taught a lecture and seminar course on U.S. Financial Markets Regulation, for which he received an award for teaching excellence. Steel spent almost 30 years at Goldman Sachs, rising to vice chair of the firm.

In addition to HSS, Steel serves on the Board of Wells Fargo and currently chairs the board of the Aspen Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering values-based leadership. He also serves on the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Task Force on Financial Reform, in which capacity he advises members of the U.S. Senate and House on financial and economic matters. He also serves on the FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, seeking to improve low-income consumers’ access to the financial mainstream. In 2009, Steel completed his term as chair of the Board of Duke University. He has also chaired the Board of the After-School Corporation; and Steel co-founded SeaChange Capital Partners, an organization that raises growth capital for entrepreneurial nonprofits.

Steel received his undergraduate degree from Duke and his MBA from the University of Chicago. He lives in Connecticut with his wife; they have three daughters.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s largest academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at


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