This profile contains Biden Administration nominations and appointments made at the U.S. Department of Labor.
Nominations and Appointments
Deborah Greenfield is Senior Advisor at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy. She was most recently Deputy Director-General for Policy at the International Labour Organization. She served as Deputy Solicitor at the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama Administration, and before that as Associate General Counsel at the AFL-CIO from 1998-2009, as a supervising attorney for litigation at the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, and as an attorney for the Communications Workers of America.
Janelle Jones is Chief Economist at the Department of Labor. She was formerly the Managing Director for Policy and Research at the Groundwork Collaborative. Before that, she was an economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, and a research associate at the Center for Economic Policy Research and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Jesse Lawder is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. He had previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri since 2017. During the Obama Administration, he worked at the Department of Labor.
Thea M. Lee is Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs. She most recently served as President of the Economic Policy Institute. Before that, she was Deputy Chief of Staff at the AFL-CIO. She began her career as an international trade economist at the Economic Policy Institute in the 1990s. She has served on the board of directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, the Center for International Policy, and the Coalition on Human Needs. She has also served on the State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, the Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee, the U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission, the Progressive Talent Pipeline advisory council, the national advisory board of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and the external advisory board of the Roosevelt Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. Lee was a panelist at the Fall 2018 Democracy Alliance Conference, on panels entitled “Inequality and the Future of Progressive Politics,” and “The Next Generation of Progressive Leadership.”
Seema Nanda is Solicitor of Labor. She was Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Committee until April 2020. Nanda also formerly served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, as chief of staff to Secretary Tom Perez at the U.S. Department of Labor during the Obama Administration, and as head of the Office of Employee and Immigrant Rights in the Civil Rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She has been a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program, and formerly worked at the National Labor Relations Board’s Division of Advice.
Rajesh Nayak is Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy. He was most recently a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor & Worklife Program. Before that he served as deputy executive director at the National Employment Law Project. During the Obama Administration, he served in multiple roles at the U.S. Department of Labor, including as deputy chief of staff. He has also worked as an attorney at the National Employment Law Project, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.
Douglas L. Parker is Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. He most recently served as chief of Cal/OSHA at the California Department of Industrial Relations, and before that was executive director of Worksafe. During the Obama Administration he was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. Before that, he was a partner at the law firm of Mooney, Green, Saindon, Murhpy & Welch, a staff attorney at the United Mine Workers of America, a staff assistant to former U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), and worked in communications for the Democratic National Committee.
Julie Su is Deputy Secretary of Labor. She most recently served as Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and before that was California Labor Commissioner from 2011 through 2018. Prior to that, she was Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. Su was also the co-founder of Sweatshop Watch.
Marty Walsh is Secretary of Labor. Walsh formerly served as the 54th mayor of Boston, Massachusetts. Before that, he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, head of the Boston Building Trades Council, and President of Laborers’ Local 223.
Elizabeth Watson is Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Policy. She most recently served as executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, and before that was labor policy director and chief labor counsel on the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. She also formerly served as executive director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, and as director of the workplace justice program at the National Women’s Law Center. In 2018, Watson ran for Congress to represent Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, losing to Republican incumbent Rep. Trey Hollingsworth.
Taryn M. Williams is Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. She formerly served as managing director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. Before that, she served in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy as chief of staff and as director of youth policy. She was associate director for public engagement and liaison to the disability community at the White House during the Obama Administration from 2014 through 2015, and a policy advisor on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions from 2012 through 2013. Before that, she held positions at the Institute for Educational Leadership and the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues.
Jenny Yang is Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor. She was formerly a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and a strategic partner at Working IDEAL. She was an Obama Administration nominee to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, serving from 2013 to 2018, including as Chair from September 2014 to January 2017. Before that, she was a Partner at the law firm of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and worked for the National Employment Law Project. She was a 2018 Leadership in Government Fellow at the Open Society Foundations, and is listed by Demand Justice on its Supreme Court shortlist.