White House Author
Former Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Jay Williams served as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs managing the Obama Administration’s relationships with local elected officials. Jay previously served as Executive Director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers at the U.S. Department of Labor. Under his leadership, the recovery office served as a coordinating body, helping communities gain access to existing federal, state and local economic development resources. Jay’s responsibilities included synchronizing a federal response to factors that have adversely impacted automotive communities and workers. He also provided recommendations on federal executive-policies and proposals affecting automotive/industrial regions, intended to address issues of special importance to those communities and workers. Prior to accepting an appointment in the Obama Administration, Jay was serving his second term as Mayor of the City of Youngstown, OH. His historic mayoral election in 2005 was viewed by many political observers as a watershed moment in the changing political landscape of the community. Jay was the city’s first African-American Mayor, and elected at 34 years old, was also its youngest. In 2009, Jay was recognized as one of Governing Magazine’s Public Officials of the Year. He was also the recipient of the 2007 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, bestowed annually by the JFK Library Foundation, in conjunction with the Harvard University Institute of Politics, in recognition of two exceptional young Americans under the age of 40 whose contributions in elective office, community service or advocacy demonstrate the impact and value of public service in the spirit of President John F. Kennedy. Prior to being elected Mayor, Jay served as the Director of Community Development for the city, and before that he enjoyed a career in banking. Jay was born and reared in Youngstown. He is a graduate of Youngstown State University with a B.S.B.A., with a major in Finance.