WASHINGTON – The Treasury's Department's No. 2 official, Ken Dam, announced his resignation on Tuesday, a departure that comes as the agency gets geared up under a new secretary.
Dam's resignation announcement comes one day after John Snow, a former chief of CSX Corp., was sworn as the 73rd treasury secretary.
Snow, the head of the railroad giant CSX for the past 14 years, was picked by Bush in December to replace Paul O'Neill after the president decided to shake up his economic team in an effort to find more effective salesmen for his new economic stimulus package.
Dam served as deputy treasury secretary under O'Neill and then took over as acting secretary until Snow was installed. Dam's departure was expected.
In his first full day on the job, Snow said he planned to walk through Treasury and meet as many employees that he can in the next few weeks, Snow said in a memo to employees on Tuesday.
"I expect to get to know many of you during my tenure," Snow wrote. "Your help and knowledge will be warmly welcomed, and I look forward to benefiting from your years of experience," he added.
Dam didn't say exactly when he would leave the department, saying in a letter to President Bush his resignation would be effective "on a date consistent with an orderly transition."
As Treasury's No. 2 official, Dam played a key role in a variety of matters -- including international tax and trade issues and fighting the financial war on terrorism.
Dam -- who served as deputy secretary of the State Department from 1982 to 1985-- was at the University of Chicago teaching courses on international finance, economic policy and patent law, before getting tapped for the treasury post.
A Treasury official said that Dam, 70, is considering employment options but hasn't said what he'll do next.
Last week, Jimmy Gurule, Treasury's undersecretary for law enforcement, said he would leave the department on Feb. 10 and will go back to teaching law at the University of Notre Dame.
Gurule's exit comes as Treasury loses key law enforcement duties to the new Homeland Security Department and to the Justice Department.