WILLIAM F. WELD was raised in Smithtown, New York. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in classics. A year later, he received a diploma in economics and political science, with distinction, from Oxford University. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1970. After serving one year as a law clerk with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, he worked for 10 years at the Boston law firm of Hill & Barlow. In 1974 he served as associate minority counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during its Watergate impeachment inquiry. Prior to becoming governor, he served as Assistant U.S. Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., emphasizing white-collar criminal investigation and prosecution. He was the United States Attorney for Massachusetts during the Reagan administration, emphasizing public corruption prosecutions and affirmative civil litigation. He also practiced law for 13 years, concentrating in securities and antitrust litigation as a partner for two major Boston law firms. As governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997, Gov. Weld was credited with improving the business climate in Massachusetts by reducing taxes and state regulations on business. He also served as national co-chair of the Privatization Council and led trade missions to numerous countries in Asia and Europe. Weld stepped down as governor in an apparent miscalculation of the prospects of the Senate confirming him as President Clinton's ambassador to Mexico. After this fiasco, Weld signed on with an international law firm, where he focused on litigation and financial issues.