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Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager

William E. Spriggs Nominated as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Labor

WASHINGTON (April 24, 2009) – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Howard University’s William E. Spriggs, chair of the Department of Economics, as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Labor.

"We are very proud of Dr. Spriggs and his willingness to take leave from his role as Chair of the Howard University Economics Department to serve on President Obama's team, and to provide a critical service to our country during a time of national and international economic crises," said Alvin Thornton, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer. "In his role as Assistant Secretary, Dr. Spriggs will bring to the Department of Labor and the Obama Administration a unique sensitivity regarding workplace justice, issues affecting low-income and working families, and strategies to assist small and disadvantaged businesses."

Spriggs was professor and chair since December 2005. Recently he served on the Agency Review Team for the Department of Labor for the transition efforts of President Obama. In the spring of 2008, he co-authored “Beyond the Mountaintop: King’s Prescription for Poverty,” for the Rosenberg Foundation, to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In addition, Spriggs serves on boards including the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union National Commission, the Independent Health Care Trust for UAW Retirees of Ford Motor Company, and the Retiree Health Administration Corporation

Spriggs held various positions in government service during the Clinton Administration. From 1993 to 1994, he led the staff of the National Commission for Employment Policy. From 1997 to 1998 he worked on the federal response to the Adarand v. Pena decision at the Department of Commerce, crafting the guidelines for the federal Small Disadvantage Business program. He served as a senior economist for the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress from 1994 to 1997, where, among other things, he worked on the passage of the increase in the minimum wage and to prevent legislative efforts to roll back affirmative action in federal procurement.

Photo credit: Kerry-Ann Hamilton

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