Paulson, a former chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, will head up the newly established Paulson Institute, an independent center that will specialize in relationships involving the United States and China.
Paulson said the institute's initial focus will encourage "progress in environmental protection and the development of alternative sources of clean energy, and promoting economic activity and cross-investment between the two countries, leading to the creation of jobs."
"Every global concern -- economic, environmental or security-related -- can be addressed more effectively when the U.S. and China work together," Paulson said in a news release.
Paulson also was appointed a distinguished senior fellow of the university's Harris School of Public Policy Studies. During his five-year appointment he is to spearhead research collaborations, speaker series, conferences and workshops, the university said.
Paulson served as the 74th treasury secretary (2006-09) and was President George W. Bush's leading economic policy adviser. He retired from Goldman Sachs after 32 years, presiding over the company's first initial public offering in 1999.