Robert Shapiro

Expertise: Understanding the Economy, Security, and How Public Policies Affect Them

As the chairman of Sonecon, Robert J. Shapiro's broad background and perspective on economics and politics are respected among senior officials of the U.S. and foreign governments, in the executive suites of businesses, and by media around the world. He has developed and advanced many policies adopted by Presidents Clinton and Obama and by other world leaders, covering tax, regulation, trade, and government spending. He is currently serving as an advisor to Hillary Clinton.

Before founding Sonecon, Dr. Shapiro was the Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs (1997–2001). In that position, he directed economic policy for the Commerce Department and oversaw the nation's major statistical agencies, including the Census Bureau as it planned and conducted the 2000 decennial census. Before that, he was co-founder and Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute, Legislative Director for Senator Daniel P. Moynihan and Associate Editor of U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Shapiro also was the principal economic advisor to Bill Clinton in his 1991-1992 presidential campaign, developing the economic case that inspired political advisor James Carville’s phrase, “It’s the economy stupid.”  Since then, he has advised every Democratic presidential candidate on economic issues, including President Barack Obama. He also has advised many senior members of the Obama and Clinton administrations. Dr. Shapiro also has been a Fellow of Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and an advisor to the International Monetary Fund. He received an A.B. degree from the University of Chicago, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is widely published in scholarly and popular journals, and the author or co-author of three books.

May 12, 2022

The Truth About Today’s Inflation

The conventional wisdom about inflation needs a course correction.  Here’s why:

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April 18, 2022

Trump’s Attacks on the 2020 Census Cost Six States with Large Minority Populations One Seat Each in Congress

As we will see, the largescale errors in the Census cost New York, Texas, Florida, Arizona, California, and New Jersey one seat each—and resulted in an extra representative for provided an extra representative for Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Montana, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

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Understanding the Economy, Security, and How Public Policies Affect Them


Washington DC


Current Experience

Chairman, Sonecon

Past Experience

  • Under Secretary of Commerce, Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Co-founder and Vice President, Progressive Policy Institute
  • Legislative Director, Senator Daniel P. Moynihan
  • Associate Editor, U.S. News & World Report


  • M.A. and Ph.D., Harvard University
  • M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science
  • A.B., University of Chicago