• Labor Secretary Thomas Perez speaks at the release of the Annual ILAB Report on Child Labor Issues after being introduced by Cynthia Brown, Director of the Washington Foreign Press Center.

  • The New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio looks on as Labor Secretary Thomas Perez speaks during a press conference announcing an executive order to raise the living wage law minimum salary in New York city to $13.13 an hour.

  • At a joint DOL/FCC industry event, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez delivers remarks concerning cell tower worker safety and signs for a new Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program.

  • Labor Secretary Thomas Perez visits the UPS D.C. hub and tours the Integrad facility, a high-tech, next-generation training facility funded by DOL.

  • After traveling from Wolfsburg, Germany, to Berlin, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez stops at the Charite Health Academy, one of the largest hospitals in Europe, to observe apprenticeships in action. The hospital trains apprentices to be nurses, midwives and physiotherapists.

  • Labor Secretary Thomas Perez sits and chats with Patrick and Lori Smith at Artefino Art Gallery Café in Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 12, 2014.

  • Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams Brewery, gives Labor Secretary Thomas Perez a barrel room tour at the brewery in Boston.

  • Leading up to National Miners Day, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main spend time with hard-working miners at the Alpha Natural Resources-owned Cumberland coal mine in Greene, Pennsylvania.

  • In Philadelphia, Tyler Buck demonstrates repairing an Apple display for (from left), Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Mayor Michael Nutter and Superintendent William Hite, during a demonstration of the Urban Technology Project on Dec. 11, 2014.

  • Secretary Perez inducted the late Sen. Ted Kennedy into the Labor Department’s Hall of Honor with the help of several former labor secretaries and his family.

  • Secretary Perez kicks off the #LeadOnLeave Tour at a high road business in Seattle.

  • Hall of Honor ceremony for civil and worker rights leader Frank Kameny.

  • Watching apprenticeship training in North Carolina.

  • My Next Move for Veterans translates military occupations to civilian jobs.

  • New efforts to promote diversity among fire rescue services.

  • ADA at 25: Advancing equal access to opportunity.

  • People with diverse backgrounds and skills fuel our nation's success.

  • Dolly's story: why voice matters in the workplace.

  • President Obama announced $175 million in apprenticeship grants.

  • "Getting things done" with YouthBuild.

  • Honoring BLS visionaries in the DOL Hall of Honor.

  • Expanding Opportunities in Tech Careers

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez     |  |  | 

Nominated by President Barack Obama and sworn in on July 23, 2013, Thomas E. Perez is the nation's 26th secretary of labor. He has committed to making good on the promise of opportunity for all, giving every working family a chance to get ahead, and putting a middle-class life within reach of everyone willing to work for it.

To accomplish this, Perez's priorities for the department include ensuring a fair day's pay for a fair day's work; connecting ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs, through skills programs like Registered Apprenticeship and on-the-job training; promoting gender equality in the workplace; ensuring that people with disabilities and veterans have access to equal employment opportunity; and insisting on a safe and level playing field for all American workers.

Perez's maternal grandfather was the ambassador to the United States from the Dominican Republic in the 1930s until he spoke out against his home country's brutal dictator and was declared non grata. His Dominican-born parents eventually settled in Buffalo, N.Y., where Perez was born and raised.

His father served in the U.S. Army and worked for many years in at the VA hospital in Buffalo, instilling in his son a dedication to public service, where the younger Perez has spent his entire career. Most recently, Perez was assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, leading the same division where he worked for a decade as a career federal employee beginning in the late 1980s. From 2002 until 2006, he was a member of the Montgomery County Council. He was later appointed secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

He was a law professor for six years at the University of Maryland School of Law and was a part-time professor at the George Washington School of Public Health. He received a bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1983. In 1987 he received both a master's of public policy and a law degree from Harvard University.

He lives in Maryland with his wife, Ann Marie Staudenmaier, and their three children.