Hormats joined the Obama administration in September 2009, tasked with using economic and trade tools to engage with countries such as China and India. Four years later, this effort has become pivotal to the administration's goal of securing the massive trade deal with Asia known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Raised in Baltimore, Hormats, 70, earned an undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Tufts University in 1965. He continued his education with a master's in 1966 and a doctorate in international economics in 1970, both from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. His time in government has crossed party lines, as he has served in Democratic and Republican administrations. Hormats's experience in the State Department goes all the way back to 1969, when he served as a senior economic adviser to Henry Kissinger in the National Security Council during the Nixon administration. Hormats was one of the officials who helped define President Nixon's approach to engaging Communist China. He also held State Department positions during the Ford, Carter, and Reagan presidencies, serving as assistant secretary of State for economic and business affairs from 1981 to 1982. In the private sector, Hormats worked for Goldman Sachs starting in 1982, leaving as a vice chairman. He has held several positions in academia, including at Princeton, Tufts, and Harvard.