William Spriggs


William Spriggs


Chief Economist


William Spriggs serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO, and is a professor in economics, and former Chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University. Mr. Spriggs assumed these roles in August 2012 after leaving the Executive Branch of the United States Government. Before August, Bill was appointed by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, in 2009 to serve as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the United States Department of Labor, taking a leave of absence from Howard University. At the time of his appointment, he also served as Chairman for the Healthcare Trust for UAW Retirees of the Ford Motor Company and as Chairman of the UAW Retirees of the Dana Corporation Health and Welfare Trust; and on the joint National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Public Administration’s Committee on the Fiscal Future for the United States; and, as Senior Fellow of the Community Service Society of New York.

Mr. Spriggs‘ previous work experience includes roles leading economic policy development and research as a Senior Fellow and Economist at the Economic Policy Institute; as Senior Vice President for the National Urban League – an over 100 year-old leading civil rights NGO in the U.S.; as a Senior Advisor for the Office. of Government Contracting and Minority Business Development for the U.S. Small Business Administration; as a Senior Advisor and Economist for the Economics and Statistics Administration for the U.S. Department of Commerce; as an Economist for the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress; and, as staff director for the independent, federal National Commission for Employment Policy. 

While working on his PhD in Economics in the University of Wisconsin, Mr. Spriggs began his labour career as co-president of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 3220 in Madison, Wisconsin.

He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the National Academy of Public Administration.