New York, Nov.22 : Colleagues of Timonthy Geithner, Barack Obama's pick for Treasury secretary, have described him as a bright and even-keeled man who will do the new President proud.
"He is a very cerebral guy. Very outgoing, very thoughtful and a good listener. He's as sound a thinker as anyone I can think of in this country," former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt told the Daily News yesterday.
Steven Radelet of the Center for Global Development, who worked under Geithner at Treasury, called him a consensus builder.
"He can synthesize a group of varied opinions faster than anyone I've ever seen," Radelet told the News. "He can listen to everyone in the room, consider their views and in a very timely fashion, will say, 'Here's what we're gonna do and here's why we're gonna do it.'"
And he's funny to boot: "He can be goofy, he understands irony and he laughs a lot. I've never seen him angry. He doesn't raise his voice," Radelet said. "He's a forceful leader because people respect him."
When he's not trying to steer the economy, Geithner enjoys fly fishing.
Geithner is "in the image of Obama, really. Young, dynamic and very bright. Somewhat under the radar, undiscovered," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer for Solaris Asset Management.
"I think he's going to generally continue [predecessor Henry] Paulson's policies and aggressively try to right the economy - hopefully with a bit more focus."
Geithner, 47, has lived in East Africa, India, Thailand, China and Japan. He holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, where he met his wife, and a master's in international economics and East Asian studies from Johns Hopkins.
After a job with Kissinger Associates, the former secretary of state's Washington lobbying firm, Geithner joined the Treasury Department in 1988.
He rose to under secretary for international affairs and did a stint with the Council on Foreign Relations before jumping to the International Monetary Fund in 2001.
The father of two became the New York Fed's ninth president in November 2003.