William G. Gale

The Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy, Senior Fellow – Economic Studies, Co-Director – Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

William Gale is the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. His research focuses on tax policy, fiscal policy, pensions, and saving behavior. He is the author of “Fiscal Therapy: Curing America’s Addiction to Debt and Investing in the Future” (Oxford University Press, 2019). He is co-founder and co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.

From 2006 to 2009, he served as vice president of Brookings and director of the Economic Studies Program. From 2007 to 2023, he served as director of the Retirement Security Project at Brookings. 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 “Wealth After Work: Innovative Reforms to Expand Retirement Security” (2021), “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 testified more than 30 times in Congress and has 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 attended Duke University and the London School of Economics and received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1987.  He lives in Fairfax, Virginia, is an avid tennis player, and is a person who stutters. He is married to Diane Lim and is the father of two grown children.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Budget and Fiscal Policy
    • Public and Private Pensions
    • Saving Behavior
    • Tax Policy
  • Past Positions

    • Vice President and Director of the Economic Studies Program, Brookings (2006-2009)
    • Joseph A. Pechman Fellow, Brookings (1992-2001)
    • Senior Staff Economist, President's Council of Economic Advisers (1991-92)
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles (1987-91)
  • Education

    • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1987
    • B.A., Duke University, 1981
    • London School of Economics, 1980
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