Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council for the Obama administration, talks with Jonathan Karl at the Washington Ideas Forum 2012.
Media speaker Jonathan Karl, ABC News' Senior Congressional Correspondent, covers Congress for World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America. Karl joined ABC News in January 2004 and has also served as the network's Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Senior National Security Correspondent.
Karl has covered political campaigns in virtually every state and has reported from more than 30 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and Sudan. He traveled internationally with the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense. He has interviewed countless public figures, including Dick Cheney, General David Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, and Robert Gates.
Prior to joining ABC News, Karl served as Congressional correspondent for CNN, and throughout his eight years with CNN he covered Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Pentagon. He has reported on three presidential elections, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the
intelligence community, President Clinton's impeachment, and Congressional reaction to the September 11th terrorist attacks. He was the first to report on both Senator Trent Lott resigning from his position as Senate Majority Leader and Senator Jim Jeffords leaving the
Gene B. Sperling is Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Upon his appointment on January 7, 2011, Mr. Sperling became the first person to serve as NEC Director and principal economic policy advisor for two presidents: first under President Clinton from 1997 to 2001, and now under President Obama.
In the Obama Administration, Sperling has played a key role representing the White House in budget negotiations with Congress as well as in designing several of the President’s economic initiatives including the American Jobs Act, the extension of Transition Adjustment Assistance, the universal dislocated workers program, and the small business tax credit. He also serves as the White House point person on several of the President’s top priorities including manufacturing policy, housing, and economic assistance for veterans.
During his eight years at the White House in the Clinton Administration, Sperling helped negotiate the 1993 and 1997 Deficit Reduction Acts and the increase in the earned-income tax credit and a champion of Saving Social Security First, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit and the Direct Student Loan program.
Mr. Sperling’s work extends beyond economics. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Sperling was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution where he focused on education in poor and conflict-affected nations. He was the founder and Director of the Center for Universal Education at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-authored a book entitled What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence and Policies from the Developing World.
Mr. Sperling was also Senior Fellow for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress, where he authored The Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity.
Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Sperling served as Counselor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In that role, Mr. Sperling served as a lead policy advisor on fiscal, budget, tax, job creation and small business issues.
Mr. Sperling graduated from the University of Minnesota and Yale Law School, and attended Wharton Business School. He is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents still live.