National Priorities Project Appoints Douglas Hall, of the Economic Policy Institute, as New Executive Director

NPP Pressroom

National Priorities Project Appoints Douglas Hall, of the Economic Policy Institute, as New Executive Director

For Immediate Release

Contact: Robin Claremont,, 413-584-9556

April 30, 2014

Northampton, MA – Douglas J. Hall, Ph.D., the current director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., will become executive director of National Priorities Project (NPP) in June. Jo Comerford, who has led the organization since 2008, will step down at the end of May. Comerford will maintain an ongoing relationship with NPP as a senior advisor.

Founded in 1983, NPP is the only nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in the United States that makes complex federal budget data transparent and accessible so people can exercise their right and responsibility to shape our nation's budget. As the “people’s guide to the federal budget,” NPP analyzes federal revenue and spending, breaks that information down to illustrate the personal and local impact of federal dollars, and fights for a federal budget that reflects Americans’ priorities.

In February, NPP was nominated by the prestigious International Peace Bureau for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its pioneering work to track federal spending on the military and promote a U.S. federal budget that represents Americans’ priorities, including funding for people’s issues, such as inequality, unemployment, education, health, and the need to build a green economy.

Hall Highly Experienced in Federal Budget Accountability, NPP

Dr. Hall has extensive experience with federal budget research and public policy, and is a current member of the NPP Board of Directors.

“Doug brings tremendous expertise and research skills in a wide range of public policy areas, in addition to an intimate familiarity with the budget machinery of Washington,” said Bidwell. “As a colleague on NPP’s board of directors, where he has served as Vice Chair since 2012, he starts his new job with extensive knowledge of the work and structure of the organization. The board of directors is thrilled to welcome Doug as NPP’s new executive director.”

As director of EARN, operating as part of the Washington D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, Hall has extensively studied the impact of national budget decisions at the state and local levels. Hall’s understanding of the economic impact of budget decisions is complemented by expertise in areas including child poverty, income inequality, and “high road” economic development. Hall previously served as director of operations and research for Connecticut Voices for Children. In his work at both the national and state levels, Hall has fostered close working relationships with partner organizations, reinforcing his belief in the importance of collaborative approaches that play to the strengths of each organization.

Said Hall, “I am honored and humbled to assume leadership of this incredible organization, and to follow in the footsteps of visionary leaders like Jo Comerford and NPP founder Greg Speeter. The work that NPP has done in the past is both incredible and incredibly important. But the relevance of NPP’s work continues to grow, and we can and will strive to reach new heights together in the years ahead.” 

Hall will officially start as executive director on June 9.

Comerford Guides NPP to International Prominence

A steadfast advocate for government transparency, federal budget accountability, and federal revenue and spending policies that work for all Americans, Comerford has led NPP to international prominence during her six years as executive director. She has been a powerful leader in the movement for a stronger, more just, and more people-centered democracy.

“Jo has provided outstanding leadership to NPP through six transformative years,” said Dennis Bidwell, chair of NPP’s board of directors. “She has assembled an outstanding staff, has worked tirelessly to hone NPP’s message and products, and has greatly expanded NPP’s donor base and financial strength. And she’s done it all with enormous sensitivity and caring. All of us on the board of directors will miss her greatly.”

Comerford has played an instrumental role in building an organization that is greatly admired and heavily utilized by public officials and journalists (at all levels), by partner organizations, and by activists and researchers, all across the country, as well as by regular taxpayers who want to better understand and influence their piece of the federal budget. Comerford took over from NPP founder and first executive director Greg Speeter, in 2008. 

“My six years at NPP have been incredible and breathtaking,” said Comerford. “I will always be a part of the NPP community – as a friend, donor, and advisor. Thanks to strong leadership at the board level, a talented team of staff, and a stellar new executive director, this transition will only mean that NPP has new opportunities to grow.”

Comerford will leave the executive director position on May 22 and will maintain an ongoing relationship with NPP as a senior advisor.