Robert J. Shapiro

Posted in People

Senior Policy Scholar

Ph.D., Political Economy, Harvard University

Research Interests

  • Economics of Growth and Innovation
  • Globalization
  • ​Fiscal and Monetary Policy


Robert J. Shapiro is the Chairman of Sonecon, LLC, a private firm that advises U.S. and foreign businesses, governments and nonprofit organizations. Shapiro has advised, among others, Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and numerous members of the U.S. and U.K. cabinets and U.S. Congress; private firms including AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Google, Gilead Sciences, Nasdaq, Nordstjernan of Sweden, and Fujitsu of Japan; and nonprofit organizations including the International Monetary Fund , the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and PhRMA. He also is a director of and an advisory board member of Civil Rights Defenders, Cote Capital, and the Pricing Carbon Initiative.

From 1997 to 2001, Shapiro was U.S. Under-Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs. In that position, he directed economic policy for the Commerce Department and oversaw the nation’s major statistical agencies, including the Census Bureau while it planned and carried out the 2000 decennial census. Prior to that appointment, he was co-founder and vice president of the Progressive Policy Institute and legislative director for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He was the principal economic advisor to Governor Bill Clinton in his 1991-1992 presidential campaign and a senior economic advisor to Albert Gore, Jr., John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joseph Biden in their presidential campaigns. Shapiro also has been a fellow of Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Fujitsu Institute. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an A.B. from the University of Chicago.