Xavier de Souza Briggs is an American sociologist and planner, known for his work on social capital, civic capacity, and community building, as well as the concept of the "geography of opportunity," which addresses the consequences of race and class segregation for the well-being and life prospects of the disadvantaged. In January 2009, Briggs went on a public service leave from MIT, appointed by President Barack Obama to become Associate Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. At OMB, he oversaw policy and budget for six cabinet agencies (Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, Commerce, Transportation, Justice, and Homeland Security) as well as the Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, and other agencies, with a discretionary budget totaling approximately $225 billion per year. He returned to the MIT faculty in August 2011.
He is Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning (with tenure) in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also a former faculty member of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He was a presidential appointee in the Clinton Administration, serving as a senior policy official at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.