Jump to main content.

A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Newsroom

Newsroom

Press Release

Jay Williams Confirmed as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate voted today to confirm Jay Williams as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.

As head of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), Jay will be responsible for fulfilling the agency’s mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Jay Williams as Assistant Secretary for Economic Development at the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “As the only federal agency focused exclusively on economic development, EDA plays a vital role in building sustainable economies in communities across the United States. Given Jay’s wealth of private and public sector experience, I am confident in his ability to lead economic development efforts at the Department of Commerce and help build the foundation and set the conditions for economic growth and success in communities across the country.”

“I am honored to continue my service to President Obama in the role of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and I thank the U.S. Senate for their vote of confidence,” said Williams. “I look forward to learning from and working with EDA’s staff and the Department of Commerce team to promote American innovation and regional collaboration and to helping EDA fulfil its vital mission of helping distressed communities throughout the United States realize their local-plans to grow businesses and jobs.”

Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Jay served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. In this capacity, he worked directly with state and local stakeholders in areas affected by the changing American automotive industry to deliver federal support to ensure they returned to better economic condition.

He also served in the White House as Deputy Director for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this position, he led efforts to engage mayors, city council members, and county officials around the country.

Jay, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, served as the Mayor there from 2006 to August 1, 2011. During his tenure, he led efforts that had a direct impact on improving the quality of life for the citizens of Youngstown.

Jay holds a B.S.B.A. in finance from Youngstown State University.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.