Dec 4, 2020The future of the United States dollar
By Michael Greenwald
The US economy and the power of the dollar have been unmatched since the time of the Bretton Woods agreement. The privilege of having the dollar serve as the global reserve currency enables the United States to weaponize its currency and leverage effective sanctions on rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran. However, some […]
Michael B. Greenwald is the senior advisor to the president and chief executive officer of the Atlantic Council and a nonresident senior fellow with the Council’s GeoEconomics Center. He is a thought leader on the future of money and fintech innovation as well as a former US financial diplomat, professor, and author with over fifteen years of experience in finance, corporate and family office strategy, public policy, national security, intelligence, and diplomacy.
Greenwald is currently a senior executive at Amazon Web Services (AWS) serving as the global leader for digital assets and financial innovation. In this role, he leads US and global strategy on integrating AWS cloud and public sector blockchain into the future of money. He works on incorporating digital assets like central bank digital currencies, cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and nonfungible tokens into the cloud systems of public sector institutions such as the US Federal Reserve and agencies across the US government. He founded and leads an AWS Digital Asset and Future of Money Task Force composed of digital asset leaders including Circle, CoinBase, Chainalysis, TRM Labs, and Elliptic to provide thought leadership and education to the highest levels of the US government including the intelligence community, law enforcement, regulators, and private industry.
In 2023, Greenwald was appointed by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to serve as a representative member on the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee. As a representative member representing Amazon Web Services, he helps the CFTC to carry out its mission of fostering open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets and examine the impact and implications of technological innovation in the financial services, derivatives, and commodity markets.
Prior to Amazon, he spent almost a decade of his life in the public sector working for the US Treasury Department culminating with his position as the United States’ first and most senior Treasury diplomat to Qatar and Kuwait. In this role, he acted as principal liaison to each nation’s banking sectors, finance ministries, and sovereign wealth funds while serving under two presidential administrations and three treasury secretaries. Prior to that, he held senior policy, legal, counterterrorism, and intelligence roles requiring travel to over twenty countries including those in North Africa, Europe, and Asia. He was on the Treasury team that crafted sanctions against Russia, Iran, North Korea, Libya, ISIS, and al-Qaeda.
After departing Treasury, he used experiences overseas and knowledge of international and monetary policy to help lead the domestic and international growth of a global multi-family office called Tiedemann Advisors. Greenwald helped oversee the firm’s growth from twelve billion dollars in assets to over thirty billion dollars. He was also named the firm’s first director for digital asset education, providing education to families and strategy to the firm’s investment team on issues related to blockchain technology.
Greenwald currently is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, directing a digital asset capstone program, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for New American Security. Greenwald is deputy director at the Trilateral Commission, leading the David Rockefeller Fellows Program; a member of the Bretton Woods Committee; and a member of the Wilson Center Digital Assets Taskforce. Greenwald previously served as an adjunct professor at Boston University Pardee School of International Relations directing its first course on counterterrorist financing.
As a former fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, he has published over fifty articles at Harvard on topics relating to the US dollar, geopolitics, the contemporary art market, and the future of money. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Barron’s, the Financial Times, and the Associated Press, and also was featured as a guest commentator on CNBC.
His philanthropic work has included chairing the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Next Generation Board, serving as the vice chairman of the board for the Promise Fund of Florida, and, in conjunction with Palm Beach Synagogue, has helped launch an annual event in Palm Beach on countering antisemitism. He previously served on the board of Susan G. Komen, was a senior advisor to Dana Farber President and CEO Laurie Glimcher, and was member of Boston University School of Law Dean’s Advisory Board.
He holds a Juris Doctor from Boston University, a master’s degree from Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in history from George Washington University. Raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, he now lives in Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife. He served on the board of Palm Beach’s Investment Committee and was honored by Palm Beach Illustrated as one of the city’s one hundred most influential business leaders.