In his new role, Allison will be responsible for managing the Treasury's policies on legislative and regulatory issues affecting financial stability, and will oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program - the $700 billion bail-out fund. He will also act as counsel to the Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner.
He will replace Neel Kashkari, who was appointed on an interim basis by then Treasury secretary Henry Paulson in October 2008. He joined the Treasury in 2006 as a senior adviser to Paulson. Prior to this he was head of Goldman Sachs' IT security investment banking operation and a vice-president in the bank's San Francisco office.
A financial services veteran, Allison began his career in 1971 as an associate in the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch in New York. During his 28 years at the firm he was based in several locations (Paris, Tehran and London) and held numerous positions, including treasurer, chief financial officer and executive vice-president for the investment banking equity and debt divisions. He was elected president, chief operating officer and a member of the board in 1997, and left the firm in 1999.
From 2000 to 2002, Allison was president and chief executive of the Alliance for Lifelong Learning, a joint venture of Oxford, Stanford and Yale Universities, offering college-level courses to adults. Between 2002 and 2008, he was chairman, president and chief executive of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), an asset manager and retirement services provider for professionals working in academic, medical, cultural and research fields.
In September 2008, Allison was named president and chief executive of Fannie Mae as the company was placed into government conservatorship. Allison was also a director of the New York Stock Exchange between 2003 and 2005.