Bill Drayton is a social entrepreneur with a long record of founding organizations, bringing big change, and service. As a student, he founded organizations ranging from Yale Legislative Services to Harvard’s Ashoka Table, an inter-disciplinary weekly forum on how society truly works. After graduation from Harvard, he received an M.A. from Balliol College in Oxford University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. Over ten years at McKinsey & Company, he brought significant structural changes to policy and organizations. He also taught at Stanford Law School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He served in the Carter Administration White House and as Assistant Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he launched emissions trading and many other lasting reforms. He launched Ashoka in 1981. He used the stipend he received when elected a MacArthur Fellow in 1984 to devote himself fully to Ashoka. Bill is Ashoka’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer. He is also chair of three other organizations; Youth Venture, Community Greens, and Get America Working!
Bill has won numerous awards and honors throughout his career. He has honorary doctorates from Yale, NYU, and others; and he is a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations. He was selected one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report and Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. Other awards include the Yale Law School’s highest alumni honor, the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Achievement Award International; and the National Academy of Public Administration National Public Service Award.
Bill is an avid backpacker. He especially loves long, off trail, above the tree line immersions.
As Ashoka’s CEO, Bill brings history-based vision and a deep grasp of how things work to help Ashoka keep learning and keep changing big time so that it and its community can make the truly big contributions it can and must. He has overall management responsibility and, as one of three members of the Leadership Team, has special responsibilities for Purpose Teams (e.g. Young People, Climate), “Jujitsu” Partners and Metro Areas, Frame Change/Communications, organizational evolution, and Search/Talent.
(photo: (c) Yusuke Abe)
What if America's two most pressing economic concerns could be solved with one big idea?
Bill Drayton thinks Americans need a holiday.
But Ashoka's chair and founder isn't talking about Christmas, or even New Year's. In an op-ed he wrote for the Huffington Post earlier this week, Drayton argued that it's about time congress passes a payroll tax holiday. It’s a big idea, and one that’s supported by a compelling argument that Drayton has been refining for some time. After all, eliminating the payroll tax could, according to Drayton, kill two burdensome economic birds with one, efficient and innovative stone.
The first bird? Ballooning unemployment:
"Payroll taxation... kills jobs by inflating hiring costs over 15% and effectively subsidizing non-labor production factors - energy, materials, land -- by an equivalent amount. That's a whopping, perverse 30+% price signal giving business an incentive to be materials/energy/land/technology intensive but to avoid using labor."
The second bird? A ballooning budget deficit:
"Job creation and deficit reduction are inextricably linked. Higher employment increases the tax base and business profits so revenues go up, while expenditures on unemployment and other government dependency costs go down. Debt service also shrinks as a result…The cumulative budget effects are huge."
Read the full article here.