Jonathan Williams

Executive Vice President, Policy and ALEC Chief Economist



Jonathan Williams is the Chief Economist and Executive Vice President of Policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where he works with state policymakers, congressional leaders and members of the private sector to develop fiscal policy solutions for the states. Williams founded the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform in 2011 and co-authors Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer Economic State Competitiveness Index with Reagan economist Dr. Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore. Prior to joining ALEC, Williams served as staff economist at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, authoring numerous tax policy studies.

Williams’ work has appeared in many publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Financial Times, Toronto Star and Investor’s Business Daily. He is a contributor for The Hill and a columnist at Tax Analysts, the leading provider of tax news and analysis for the global community. Williams also serves on the Advisory Board of the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) and as an adjunct fellow at the Kansas Policy Institute. He has written for the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition, Williams was a contributing author of In Defense of Capitalism (Northwood University Press).

Williams has spoken to audiences across all 50 states and provided testimony for the U.S. Congress, as well as numerous state legislative bodies. His work has been featured at the federal level by The White House, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. He is a frequent guest on talk radio shows and has appeared on numerous television outlets, including the PBS NewsHour, Fox Business News and Bloomberg News. Williams was also the recipient of the prestigious Ludwig von Mises Award in Economics.

Task Force Memberships

  • Tax and Fiscal Policy - Staff
  • Authored Articles

    + All Articles by Jonathan Williams

    Authored Publications

    • Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom: Grading America’s 50 Governors image

      Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom: Grading America’s 50 Governors

      This is the American Legislative Exchange Council’s first ever Governors ranking, the 2020 Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom. The scorecard ranks America’s 50 governors based on policy performance and result, …

    • Rich States, Poor States 13th Edition image

      Rich States, Poor States 13th Edition

      In this 13th edition of Rich States, Poor States, White House Advisors Dr. Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore and ALEC Executive Vice President of Policy and Chief Economist Jonathan …

    • Unaccountable and Unaffordable 2019 image

      Unaccountable and Unaffordable 2019

      Unfunded state pension liabilities total $4.9 trillion or $15,080 for every man, woman and child in the United States. State governments are often obligated, by contract and state constitutional law, …

    • State Tax Cut Roundup, 2019 image

      State Tax Cut Roundup, 2019

      The 2019 state legislative sessions ended with six states enacting substantial tax relief for their citizens that was sufficient to qualify for State Tax Cut Roundup. Of the six states …

    • State Bonded Obligations, 2019 image

      State Bonded Obligations, 2019

      States issue a diverse array of bonded obligations, with a range of obligation strength, revenue sources, debt service schedules and other factors. This study collects and analyzes the bonded obligations …

    • Other Post-Employment Benefit Liabilities, 2019 image

      Other Post-Employment Benefit Liabilities, 2019

      The Continuing Need for OPEB Reform

    + All Publications by Jonathan Williams