Prior to joining Brookings in 1992, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a senior economist for the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush.
He is the co-editor of several books, including Automatic: Changing the Way America Saves (Brookings 2009); Aging Gracefully: Ideas to Improve Retirement Security in America (Century Foundation, 2006); The Evolving Pension System: Trends, Effects, and Proposals for Reform (Brookings, 2005); Private Pensions and Public Policy (Brookings, 2004); Rethinking Estate and Gift Taxation (Brookings, 2001), and Economic Effects of Fundamental Tax Reform (Brookings, 1996).
His research has been published in several scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Quarterly Journal of Economics. In 2007, a paper he co-authored was awarded the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award Certificate of Excellence.
He has also written extensively in policy-related publications and newspapers, including op-eds in CNN, the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
Gale serves on the editorial board of several academic journals, and has served on advisory boards for the Government Accountability Office, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Joint Committee on Taxation, and on the Board of the Center on Federal Financial Institutions.
Gale attended Duke University and the London School of Economics and received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1987. He lives in Washington, DC, is an avid tennis player, and is a person who stutters. He is the father of two grown children.