Gene Sperling, former Director, National Economic Council and National Economic Advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama

Date & time

Apr 15, 2019, 4:00-5:20 pm EDT


Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom (1110)
735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Join the conversation: #policytalks

Gene Sperling speaks on economic dignity and the three pillars that should define it. He argues that economic dignity—not GDP or other economic metrics—should be the end goal and North Star for economic policy and how that frame would impact our current economic policy debates.

From the speaker's bio:

Gene Sperling served as Director of the National Economic Council and National Economic Advisor to both President Obama (2011-2014) and President Clinton (1997-2001). He is the only person to hold that position for two Presidents. He also served as Deputy National Economic Advisor (1993-1996), Counselor to the Secretary of Treasury and Member of the President’s Auto Task Force (2009-2010) and Economic Advisor to Governor Mario Cuomo, (1990-1992). Under Presidents Clinton and Obama he played a lead role in the significant expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other refundable tax relief for hard-pressed families. He was a key architect of the 1993 Economic Plan during the Clinton administration and a key negotiator in the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement that lead to the Children’s Health Initiative Program (CHIP), higher education tax relief and played leadership roles in the creation of the New Markets Tax Credit, Community Development Financial Institutions, Gear-Up, Debt Relief for low-income nations, and anti-sweatshop and anti-child labor initiatives. Under President Obama, Sperling played a critical role in passage of expanded tax relief for low-income families, the payroll-tax cut, the Small Business Jobs Act (including the State Small Business Credit Initiative), the proposed American Jobs Act, the Manufacturing Hubs Initiative, as well as in special initiatives on college opportunity and efforts to help long-term unemployed. He is author of Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity (2005) and numerous publications including most recently, “Economic Dignity” in Democracy Journal (2019).

Sperling is the founder and first Executive Director (2002-2008) of the Center for Universal Education at Brookings Institution, a center that focuses on education for girls and boys in developing nations. He is co-author of What Works in Girl’s Education: Evidence on the World’s Best Investment (2004, 2015) which included a forward from Malala Yousafzai. He has been a contributing editor at The Atlantic and currently runs Sperling Economic Strategies. He was a consultant on NBC’s West Wing for four seasons where he had co-writing credit on four episodes. He graduated from University of Minnesota summa cum laude, attended Wharton Business School and received his JD from Yale Law School where he was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his family home is still located, he is a life-long University of Michigan football and basketball fan (and former ball boy). He currently resides in Santa Monica with his wife Allison Abner and their children.