Bowles, Erskine

Erskine Bowles

Economic Strategy Group Co-Chair

President Emeritus, The University of North Carolina

ERSKINE B. BOWLES is co-chair of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group and the chairman of the board of advisors of BDT Capital Partners. He began his business career at Morgan Stanley and went on to found and lead Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., which became the preeminent investment bank focused on middle market mergers and acquisitions. He subsequently co-founded the middle market private equity firm Carousel Capital, served as a senior advisor for Credit Suisse First Boston, and as a partner with the global buyout firm Forstmann Little & Co. He previously served on the boards of Morgan Stanley (Lead Director), First Union Corporation, Merck, VF, Cousins Properties (Lead Director), Norfolk Southern Corporation, General Motors, Belk, and Facebook. In his public sector career, Erskine served in the Clinton Administration as administrator to the Small Business Administration, deputy White House chief of staff, and chief of staff. During his time in the White House, he negotiated the first balanced budget in a generation. Erskine co-chaired with Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and from 2005 to 2011, he served as the president of the University of North Carolina.


New York Times: How to Get Americans to Love Capitalism Again

Originally published in New York Times. American capitalism is at a serious inflection point. Many Americans, including the two of us, are alarmed by enormous levels of inequality and by declining economic mobility. We are concerned that in many cases American markets are no longer the most competitive in the world. And, we worry that […]

Washington Post: Americans are being left behind. Here’s how we fix it.

Originally published on Washington Post. Many Americans are being left behind by today’s modern, global economy, and they are justifiably angry about it. Growing numbers of people feel our economic and political systems are rigged against them. And it’s no wonder why. Recent progress in low- and middle-income wage growth is a blip against decades […]