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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
Swearing-In Ceremony for Assistant Secretaries
Washington, DC
Friday, April 23, 2010

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen!

Thank you for joining us.

I’m glad so many of you could be here to share this special occasion.

I would like to take a moment to thank Joe Main’s grandson – United States Marine Corporal Michael Cogswell for his participation today and for his service to our country.

As was said earlier, Corporal Cogswell was granted leave from his post in Afghanistan to be here today.

I know that you make your family very proud and we are all grateful to you and the other men and women who keep our country safe.

Please join me in thanking him.

I am very pleased with the exceptional talents of our team here at the Department of Labor and these outstanding individuals will make a wonderful addition to their respective agencies.

We are facing many challenges today, but I am confident that with the leadership of these new Assistant Secretaries we will make great strides towards taking on these very important issues.

I look forward to continue working with them as we help America’s families get back on their feet and create an environment for a productive future.

It is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to the new team at the Department of Labor.

  • Joe Main is our new Assistant Secretary for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and I am sure glad that he is on our team. As you all know, Joe has been leading our efforts at the Upper Big Branch mine disaster and he has done a fantastic job.
    He is an internationally-recognized expert in mine health and safety issues. Joe began working at coal mines in 1967 and for more than 40 years, he has worked to improve every aspect of miner health and safety in the U.S. and internationally.
  • Dr. David Michaels is our new Assistant Secretary the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
    He is a nationally recognized leader in the scientific community's efforts to protect the integrity of the science on which public health and environmental policies and regulation are based.
    Before coming to OSHA, he was Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, directing the department's Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy. I am sure happy that he is leading the efforts at OSHA.
  • Dr. William Spriggs, is our Assistant Secretary for Policy. Dr. Spriggs is a recognized expert in labor policy and research. For over 25 years, he has worked as an educator, researcher and advocate for working families and low-income communities.
    Before joining us, he was Chair of the Department and a professor, of Economics at Howard University. We are so please that Dr. Spriggs in part of the DOL team.
  • Patricia Smith is our Solicitor of Labor. Prior to becoming the Solicitor of Labor, Ms. Smith was the New York State Commissioner of Labor and served as Chief of the Labor Bureau in the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
    In that position she developed the Bureau’s affirmative docket enforcing the New York state labor laws, primarily on behalf of low wage and immigrant workers. We are so happy to have her on our team.
  • And we have Sara Manzano-Diaz, who is our Director of the Women’s Bureau. She has spent her career in public service advocating on behalf of working class families, women, and girls.
    She has more than 25 years of federal, state, and judicial experience, including 16 years in senior management at the federal government level. Thank you Sara for being a part of our family.

Now, I will administer the oath of office, if you could face the flag and repeat after me.


Congratulations, once again to the new Assistant Secretaries as well as their friends and family.

Throughout their careers, these nominees have displayed unwavering integrity and an unyielding commitment to social justice and workers rights.

I look forward to working with them in providing good jobs for American workers and their families.

Thank you for coming.