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ERSKINE B. BOWLES '69
Erskine B. Bowles was the Co-Chair of the 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
A graduate of Columbia Business School, Mr. Bowles began his career at Morgan Stanley in the corporate finance group and later left to form Bowles, Hollowell, Conner, a middle‐market investment firm. He then launched the venture capital firm, Kitty Hawk Capital, co‐founded Carousel Capital, a middle‐market private equity firm, and served as partner in the New York based private equity firm of Forstmann Little. Throughout his career, Mr. Bowles served on the boards of various companies, including General Motors and Facebook.
In 1993, Mr. Bowles served as President Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff and was later named Chief of Staff. In this capacity, he served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and on both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. Working at the direction of the President and with the Republican House of Representatives and Senate, Mr. Bowles negotiated the first balanced budget in a generation. During his tenure in the White House, he was tasked with coordinating the Federal response to the Oklahoma City bombing and later joined the United Nations as Deputy Special Envoy, with the rank of Under Secretary General, to coordinate the global response to the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in December 2004.
In 2010, Mr. Bowles was invited by President Barack Obama to co‐chair the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with former Senator Alan Simpson. This bipartisan commission produced a plan to reduce the Nation’s deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade and was supported by Republicans and Democrats alike.
From 2005 to 2011, Mr. Bowles served as President of the University of North Carolina with oversight over 17 campuses, 220,000 students, 40,000 employees and an annual budget of approximately $8 billion.
Mr. Bowles has also been active in several non‐profit organizations including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the creation of an ALS Center in Charlotte, the Carolinas Medical Center and the Board of Trustees of the Duke Endowment.
Mr. Bowles has been married for over 40 years to Crandall Close, former Chair and CEO of Springs Industries. They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren, and currently reside in Charlotte.