Naomi M. Barry-Pérez
Naomi M. Barry-Pérez has served as the Director of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) since 2012. In this position, she directs DOL's civil rights enforcement and compliance programs pursuant to Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (formerly the Workforce Investment Act), among other statutes. Ms. Barry-Pérez serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Labor and Departmental leadership on civil rights and equal employment opportunity (EEO) with regard to entities receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Labor as well as employment with the Department of Labor.
Significant accomplishments include:
- In 2016, published, as a final rule, implementing regulations for Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as a new 29 CFR part 38. These revised regulations contain substantive changes necessary to address developments in equal opportunity and nondiscrimination jurisprudence since 1999. Additionally, procedures and processes for enforcement of the nondiscrimination provisions had not been revised to reflect changes in the practices of recipients since 1999, including the use of computer-based and internet-based systems to provide aid, benefits, services, and training through WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities. The regulation represents a significant effort on the part of the Civil Rights Center (CRC) to enhance its enforcement and compliance program and to strengthen civil rights requirements, while making CRC’s processes for achieving compliance more efficient and effective.
- Established a Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center (RARC), a one-stop shop that assists the Department to research, test, procure, implement and monitor reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. By centralizing these services, the Department mitigates liability while promoting efficiencies and economies of scale.
- In 2016-2017, revised and issued the Departmental protocol on addressing reasonable accommodation requests for employees with disabilities. The prior procedures had not been reviewed since 2005, despite significant changes in disability law. Endeavored to streamline processes while influencing a culture shift in terms of the recruitment and retention of employees with disabilities.
- Steered effort to advance an awareness of the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals within DOL programs and activities, which resulted in issuance of comprehensive policy statements and actions.
- Dedicated robust efforts to assessment and reconstitution of CRC's Office of External Enforcement (OEE), which enforces nondiscrimination and equal opportunity laws among recipients of federal financial assistance from the Department of Labor.
- In 2013, revised a major federal program’s Policy and Requirements Handbook that updates the policies and procedures to ensure equal access and opportunity for pregnant applicants and students.
- Significantly re-designed CRC’s web presence, including the creation of a comprehensive brochure and web tool, in multiple languages, to assist customers to determine the correct venue for their concerns.
- In 2017, participated as one of 35 women from across the world in conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Women in Public Service convened by the Woodrow Wilson Center.
- In 2017, elected as a Fellow to the National Academy of Public Administration.
Additionally, Ms. Barry-Pérez held the position of Chief of Internal Enforcement where she oversaw the investigation and adjudication of complaints of discrimination within the Department. She also served as Acting Chief of the Office of Compliance Assistance and Planning, the entity dedicated to providing Departmental stakeholders with information on how to comply with applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, Ms. Barry-Pérez was responsible for coordinating efforts that pertain to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) and migrant/seasonal farmworkers. Pursuant to Executive Order 13166, Ms. Barry-Pérez spearheaded development of the Department of Labor's Policy Guidance to federal financial assistance recipients regarding the prohibition against national origin discrimination affecting LEP individuals. She also created the Department's plan for improving the accessibility of federally conducted programs for LEP persons. Ms. Barry-Pérez served on the steering committee of the Federal Interagency Working Group on LEP.
Ms. Barry-Pérez served as a Budget Examiner in the Education Branch of the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President in 1999-2000. She also served as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Fellow in the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights in 1996-1997.
Ms. Barry-Pérez holds a Bachelor's Degree in Politics (cum laude) from Mount Holyoke College and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. In addition, she held a Public Interest Law Fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center where she received a Juris Doctor Degree.
Ms. Barry-Pérez is the recipient of numerous National awards, including a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Alumnae Achievement Award, Secretary of Labor Exceptional Service Awards, the inaugural Federal Employee Leadership Award given by the National Farmworker Conference, a National Hispanic Scholarship, a Harry S Truman Scholarship for Public Service, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for Public Policy.
Ms. Barry-Pérez served as Chairwoman of the Board for Good Shepherd Ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization that operated four comprehensive programs for at-risk youth in Washington, D.C., and as a Board Member of Americans for the Arts. Ms. Barry-Pérez has also served on a number of committees for Mount Holyoke College, including the College's Legacy of Diversity Committee.