WASHINGTON (AP) _ Lawrence Summers was sworn in Friday as the nation's 71st treasury secretary in a private ceremony at the White House.

Summers, with his wife, Victoria, three children and parents watching, took the oath of office from Vice President Al Gore.

President Clinton and other members of his economic team, including outgoing Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, were present for the brief ceremony in the Oval Office.

Summers had been confirmed by the Senate on a 97-2 vote Thursday.

While Summers, 44, became the youngest tenured professor in Harvard's history at the age of 28, he will not be the nation's youngest treasury secretary.

Alexander Hamilton, the first treasury secretary, was 34 when he took the job in George Washington's Cabinet.

Summers joined the administration in its early days and has served as one of the architects of many of the president's economic initiatives. He also was the point man for the administration's efforts to deal with the Mexican peso crisis in 1995 and the Asian financial crisis, which began in July 1997.

Summers served as undersecretary for international affairs at Treasury, working under Clinton's first treasury secretary, former Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen.

He became the deputy treasury secretary, the No. 2 job in the department, in 1995 when Rubin succeeded Bentsen. Rubin announced his resignation on May 12 and Clinton immediately nominated Summers to be his successor.

Rubin, Summers and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan developed a close working relationship as they struggled to deal with first the Mexican crisis and then the Asian currency crisis. The three men usually met once a week for either breakfast or lunch.

Clinton, who appointed Greenspan to a third term as Fed chairman in 1996, will have the chance to fill that post next June when Greenspan's four-year term is up.

While there has been speculation that Clinton may nominate Greenspan for a fourth term to avoid a fight with the Republican-controlled Senate over another candidate, Clinton said in an interview published Friday that he has yet to make a decision on the Fed job.

``I don't even know if he wants to do it. I haven't talked to him. I don't even know if he is interested,'' Clinton said of Greenspan in an interview with Business Week magazine.