WASHINGTON (July 14, 2014) – William Spriggs, professor and past chairman of the Department of Economics at Howard University, was recently selected by the NAACP National Board of Directors' Labor Committee to receive the 2014 NAACP Benjamin L. Hooks “Keeper of the Flame” Award.
The NAACP will honor Spriggs for his contributions at its105th annual convention in Las Vegas on July 23. The “Keeper of the Flame” Award is given to recipients who have made significant contributions to racial equality and fairness in the labor movement and have fostered creative involvement to encourage positive outcomes.
Currently, Spriggs also serves as the chief economist of the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor federation. In that role, he chairs the Economic Policy Working Group of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development headquartered in Paris. The Working Group is made up of the economic policy advisors to the national trade union federations of the member nations of the OECD.
He is a member of the National Academy of Public Administrators and the National Academy of Social Insurance, where he is a previous board member.
Spriggs previously served as Assistant Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Labor under Secretary Hilda Solis during President Barack Obama’s first term. At the time of his appointment in 2009, he chaired the Healthcare Trust for UAW Retirees of the Ford Motor Company as well as The UAW Retirees of the Dana Corporation Health and Welfare Trust; served 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. He is a former executive director of the National Urban League’s Institute for Opportunity and Equality and a senior fellow with the Economic Policy Institute.
His distinguished career has included various government positions during the Clinton Administration. He was staff director of the National Commission for Employment Policy. He also served as a senior economist for the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress from 1994 to 1997. In that post, Spriggs assisted with the passage of an increase in the minimum wage and helped thwart legislative efforts to roll back affirmative action in federal procurement.
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu.