John C. Whitehead began his professional career in 1947 at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he worked for 38 years. He rose quickly within the company and was named Partner in 1956, and Co-Chairman and Senior Partner in 1976. He has served on the Boards of numerous companies, and as a Director of the New York Stock Exchange, and Chairman of the Securities Industry Association.
In April 1985, Mr. Whitehead was asked to become US Deputy Secretary of State, to Secretary George Shultz, and served until January 1989. During this period, he was Acting Secretary of State when Mr. Shultz was away from Washington and took a special interest in relations with Eastern Europe, the United Nations, and with various administrative reforms in the State Department. Mr. Whitehead was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan.
Since returning to New York from Washington in 1989, he has been active in a number of educational, civic and charitable organizations. He is a former Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the United Nations Association, the International Rescue Committee, International House, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Harvard Board of Overseers, Haverford College, and the Asia Society. He is presently Chairman of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and is also now Co-Chairman of the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts, a Director of the Nature Conservancy, the East-West Institute, the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships and a former Director of The Rockefeller University, Lincoln Center Theater, the J. Paul Getty Trust, Outward Bound, and the National Humanities Center.
In Washington, Mr. Whitehead is Chairman Emeritus of the Brookings Institution and the Trustees Council of the National Gallery of Art.
In late 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the organization responsible for the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan. He is also serving as the Chairman of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.
Mr. Whitehead graduated from Haverford College in 1943, and served in the US Navy, participating in the invasions of Normandy, Southern France, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. While in the Navy, Mr. Whitehead was assigned as an Instructor at the Harvard Business School. He received his MBA degree, with distinction, from Harvard University in 1947 and holds honorary degrees from Haverford College, Pace University, Rutgers University, Amherst College, and Harvard University.