Feldstein To Leave AIG Board

Economics Professor Martin S. Feldstein ’61 will step down after 22 years on the board of directors at American International Group, an embattled international insurance company that has received billions in government bailout funding.

Feldstein declined to comment on why he will not stand for re-election at the company’s annual general meeting on June 30.

“I never discuss AIG,” Feldstein wrote in an email.

The insurance giant, which has received $182.5 billion in government funding since September, has been under pressure to overhaul its board, according to media reports.

The company announced six new nominees to its board on May 19. According to the Washington Post, at least five of the nominees were selected by the company’s federally-appointed trustees.

“We’ve spent considerable effort focused on AIG’s board of directors,” AIG trustee Douglas L. Foshee said during a May 13 hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “We’ve come to the conclusion that if AIG is to succeed, it needs a fresh start.”

Feldstein’s exit comes as the last in a series of departures of veteran directors at AIG. The company’s recently-appointed Chairman and CEO Edward M. Liddy and long-time directors Stephen F. Bollenbach and James F. Orr have all announced that they will step down.

“I am the last of the directors from before 2000 to leave,” Feldstein wrote in an e-mail. “But it is time for the new team to carry on.”

During his time on AIG’s nine-member board of directors, Feldstein served on the board’s finance and risk management committee as well as the regulatory, compliance, and public policy committee.

“He is a brilliant and important economist who has contributed significantly over many decades to the understanding of the public sector,” said Economics Professor Edward L. Glaeser of Feldstein.

Feldstein, who was chief economic adviser to President Reagan and former president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, currently serves as an adviser to President Obama on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

“There are always new activities,” Feldstein wrote, “and this will certainly give me more time for other things.”

--Staff writer Manning Ding can be reached at ding3@fas.harvard.edu.