Press Releases

News from EPI Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez joins EPI’s Board of Directors

Former Obama administration Secretary of Labor Tom Perez has joined EPI’s Board of Directors, where he will advise EPI’s leaders on matters of labor policy and help set priorities for the institute.

Perez joins a distinguished board that includes AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Bennett College President Emerita Julianne Malveaux, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, and three former labor secretaries—Robert Reich and Alexis Herman, who served in the Clinton administration, and Carter administration Secretary Ray Marshall.

“Secretary Perez was a great champion for working people. Under his leadership the Labor Department was a powerful and consequential force for improving workers’ lives and advocating for policies to increase the bargaining power of working people,” said EPI President Lawrence Mishel. “Secretary Perez is a valuable addition to EPI’s board as we work to advance an economic vision that puts working families first.”

Under Secretary Perez’s leadership, the Labor Department advanced a number of policies to increase fairness and boost workers bargaining power, including the fiduciary rule, expanded overtime protections, and other key regulations and initiatives to raise wages, improve working conditions, boost opportunities for employment, and safeguard work-related benefits and rights.

“I am delighted that Secretary Perez has joined the EPI board,” said Heidi Shierholz, director of policy and head of EPI’s Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages. “When I worked for Tom at the Department of Labor he often invoked the spirit of Frances Perkins as his touchstone. His energy and passion for uplifting and protecting workers is exactly what is needed.”

Before leading the Department of Labor, Perez served as assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2009 to 2013 and as Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation from 2007 to 2009.