William C. Thompson Jr.

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William C. Thompson Jr.
New York City Comptroller


A lifelong resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and a proud product of the New York City Public School system, William C. Thompson Jr. has distinguished himself through three decades of service to the people of New York City. After graduating from Tufts University, Thompson began his career in government in the mid-1970s working for a Brooklyn congressman. A short time later, he was elected Brooklyn’s youngest-ever deputy borough president.

Taking a short break from politics in the early 1990s, Thompson served as a senior vice president for public finance at an investment banking firm.

The son of a public school teacher, he was lured back to government when he was appointed to the Board of Education for the city of New York in 1994. He was named president in 1996 and served five consecutive terms. As president, Thompson led a reform agenda that resulted in improved student achievement and greater public accountability.

Thompson was elected New York City Comptroller in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. In that job, Thompson has sought to safeguard the city’s finances and root out waste. His audits of city agencies have uncovered more than $193.6 million in savings. Thompson has stood on the side of working people seeking a living wage. His battle against the proposed fare hikes forced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to open its books to the public. Through his Community Action Center, Thompson has helped more than 40,000 New Yorkers with problems regarding city services.

As custodian of the city’s $105 billion portfolio of pension funds, Thompson has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in affordable housing and commercial real estate in New York City. He has demonstrated a serious commitment to fostering opportunities for women- and minority-owned firms to conduct business with the city. Under his leadership, the amount of New York City Pension Fund assets managed by women- and minority-owned firms has more than tripled to approximately $3.7 billion.

Thompson has been a leader among institutional investors in advancing important corporate governance and corporate social responsibility reforms such as the annual election of directors, prohibitions against workplace discrimination, as well as the adoption of standards for the protection of the environment and human rights globally. He gained a national reputation for his efforts to stop American firms like Halliburton from operating through foreign subsidiaries in nations that are state sponsors of terror.

Thompson serves on the Tufts University Board of Trustees and holds an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Mercy College.