Thomas Perez

Thomas Perez

Thomas E. Perez is a nationally recognized consumer advocate and civil rights lawyer who was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley in January 2007 to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). DLLR protects and empowers Marylanders in a wide variety of ways. DLLR enforces workplace safety laws that provide critical safeguards to workers and communities. DLLR enforces wage and hour, and other wage laws that ensure wage security for working Marylanders. DLLR protects consumers through the enforcement of a wide range of consumer rights laws, including laws protecting people in the home ownership process. DLLR collaborates with businesses and workers to address critical workforce development needs and build a world-class workforce. Secretary Perez has spent his entire career in public service. From 2001 until 2007, he was a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, where he taught in the school's nationally recognized clinical law and law and health program. Secretary Perez is currently a part-time member of the faculty at the George Washington School of Public Health.

From 2002 until 2006, Secretary Perez was a member of the Montgomery County Council. In this capacity, he represented 175,000 residents in Silver Spring, Kensington, Takoma Park and Wheaton. Secretary Perez was the first Latino ever elected to the Council, and served as Council President in 2005.

Secretary Perez spent 12 years in federal public service. He spent the bulk of his federal public service at the United States Department of Justice. He was a federal prosecutor for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In so doing, he prosecuted and supervised the prosecution of some of the Department's most high profile civil rights cases, including a hate crime case in Texas involving a gang of white supremacists who went on a deadly, racially motivated crime spree directed at African Americans. He later served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Attorney General Janet Reno. Among other responsibilities, Secretary Perez chaired the interagency Worker Exploitation Task Force, which oversaw a variety of initiatives designed to protect vulnerable workers.

Secretary Perez served as Special Counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy, and was Senator Kennedy's principal adviser on civil rights, criminal justice and constitutional issues. For the final two years of the Clinton administration, Secretary Perez served as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Secretary Perez began his law career as a clerk for Judge Zita Weinshienk of the District Court of Colorado from 1987 to 1989

Perez received an A.B. in International Relations and Political Science from Brown University in 1983, a J.D. cum laude in 1987 from Harvard Law School and a Master's degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government also in 1987.


* [ Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation]

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