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Sandra Vega joined the Women's Bureau at the Department of Labor, as the Chief of Staff, on May 3, 2010. Prior to this appointment, she worked at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Region 2 in Hazard Mitigation Planning as a disaster reservist and community planner. Concurrently, Ms. Vega was President and CEO of La Luna Consulting, a project management firm servicing diverse clients. This included consulting on brownsfield redevelopment and affordable housing for the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute at Baruch College in New York City.
Ms. Vega has extensive experience in government and global issues in gender initiatives, community, economic and housing development. She was selected for one of the 200 positions in the inaugural US Department of Housing and Development (HUD) Community Builders Fellowship Program and worked in Region 2. Prior to this she worked at NYS' Empire State Development as a Director and Project Manager and was part of the team overseeing the $300 million New York Empowerment Zone.
Ms. Vega is a graduate of the Coro/NY Hispanic Women's Leadership Program and was a mentor for Las Madrinas (“The Godmothers”), a leadership/mentoring program for adolescent girls and young women.
Ms. Vega holds a Bachelor's degree from Hunter College (CUNY) and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Karen A. Furia is the National Office Coordinator of the Women's Bureau at the Department of Labor, where she has spent 19 years with the Bureau and a lifetime dealing with concerns of working women and their families.
Ms. Furia came to work for the Women's Bureau in Washington D.C. in 1991 and held several leadership positions including co-leader of the Family-Friendly Team and coordinator of the Bureau's Clearinghouses. In 1994, she moved to Seattle, Washington and worked with employees, employers, community organizations, unions, and governmental agencies in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Ms. Furia returned to Washington D.C, in 2003 and since that time has coordinated work and administrative efforts in the National Office.
She is a catalyst and convener and has worked with groups to create events and tools that encourage women to network and decide on individual or group actions that will lead to a meaningful successful work and life experience.
Prior to joining the Bureau, Ms. Furia helped develop policies for working women at the local and state level in Maryland and directed the Mayor's Office of Child Care in San Francisco. Before that she directed childcare programs at Cross Cultural Family Center in San Francisco.
Ms. Furia holds a Bachelor's degree from San Francisco State University and a Master Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Suzanne M. Burnette currently serves as Acting Chief of the Women’s Bureau’s Office of Policy and Programs. Since 1998, Ms. Burnette has helped formulate and implement policies, programs, and initiatives focused upon improving the economic and employment status of America’s working-women. Also working in the International arena, Ms. Burnette served as the United States delegate expert on maternity protection at the United Nation’s 1999 and 2000 International Labor Organization Convention on Maternity Protection in Geneva, Switzerland. She has served as the Lead and Co-Chair on numerous Women’s Bureau initiatives, such as Women’s Leadership, Hispanic Financial Literacy, and Working Women in Transition.
Prior to coming to the Bureau, she served eight years as an Attorney Advisor in the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Legal Services division of the Office of the Solicitor (SOL). While working in SOL, she was requested by the Directorate of the Department’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) to serve on a year-long detail teaching CRC staff attached to Title VI complaint investigations the differences in evidence gathering and crafting initial determinations for Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act of 1976 charges.
Ms. Burnette obtained her J.D. from the University of Mississippi Law School where she served on the Editorial Board of the Law Journal, Moot Court Board, and was a member of the honorary legal fraternity, Phi Delta Phi.