Drawing on substantial new material, Cyrus A. Ansary gives a riveting account of how George Washington sought to put in place in America an economic system that was the antithesis of what had existed in the colonies under British rule. The entrepreneurial economy – which nurtures and rewards innovation and inventiveness – did not sprout into being in the United States by sheer happenstance. It was put in place by our first President. He painstakingly laid the foundation for it, but it did not take root without a struggle. He needed extraordinary tenacity to overcome fierce opposition to his program.President Washington’s economic initiatives are the least well understood facets of Washington’s busy and productive life. They enlarged the dreams and opportunities of Americans, led to a flourishing entrepreneurial climate, and are an inspiring tale for our time.
Cyrus A. Ansary is a lawyer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, educator and author. Mr. Ansary earned a BS in Economics from American University, a law degree from Columbia University, and a Certificate in French Civilization from the University of Paris. He also served in the U.S. Marines and now lives with his wife, Jan, in the Washington, DC area.
After becoming a member of the Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, and the U.S. Supreme Court bars, Mr. Ansary began his career practicing law in the Washington DC area. He was the founder and president of Investment Services International Co., Chairman of the Board of JP Morgan Value Opportunities Fund, Inc. and was lead director at Washington Mutual Investors Fund for 15 years, after which he became chairman of the board. He also served, among others, on the boards of First American Bank of Maryland, Krupp GmbH, and Deutsche Babcock and Wilcox. He managed the first sovereign wealth fund in the world to make transnational equity investments.
Mr. Ansary has been actively engaged in civic endeavors throughout his career. He served on the Board of Trustees of the American University for almost 28 years, including 9 years as Chairman of the Board, and is now Chairman Emeritus. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Krupp Foundation in Essen, Germany. He also was an adjunct professor of corporate finance at American University. Since 1990, the Cyrus A. Ansary Medal has been awarded annually to a civic or corporate leader selected by the American University Board of Trustees.
Mr. Ansary has served as a member of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars Council, a trustee of the Washington Opera Society, and a trustee of the Wolf Trap Foundation. He was a member of the Life Guard Society of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and is now an emeritus member. In 2012, Mr. Ansary and his wife established the Cyrus A. Ansary Prize for Courage and Character under the auspices of the Life Guard Society of Mount Vernon. In 2014, the first recipient of the prize was former President George H.W. Bush.