Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Sharon Block
Sharon Block is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. She previously served as Senior Counselor to Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez from August 2013 to October 2015.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy provides advice to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Department on matters of policy development, program evaluation, regulations, budget and legislation that will improve the lives of workers, retirees and their families. Integral to this role, OASP leads special initiatives and manages cross-and inter-Department activities and is the policy innovation arm of the Department of Labor that invests in research and analysis of current and emerging labor issues including: the growing wage gap for working families, ensuring protections and opportunity for all workers, policies that promote work and family balance, and labor standards for the rapidly changing 21st century economy.
Block has held various other senior roles in the Obama Administration, including as White House Senior Public Engagement Advisor for Labor and Working Families. On January 4, 2012, President Obama appointed her to serve as a Member of the National Labor Relations Board. She served on the NLRB until July 2013. From 2009 to 2012, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. Between 2006 and 2009, Ms. Block was Senior Labor and Employment Counsel for the Senate HELP Committee, where she worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Ms. Block previously served at the National Labor Relations Board as senior attorney to Chairman Robert Battista from 2003 to 2006 and as an attorney in the appellate court branch from 1996 to 2003. From 1994 to 1996, she was Assistant General Counsel at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from 1991 to 1993, she was an associate at Steptoe & Johnson. She received a B.A. in History from Columbia University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where she received the John F. Kennedy Labor Law Award.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Rajesh Nayak
Rajesh Nayak has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) since December 2014. In that role, he advsies the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and other agency leaders on the Department's policy priorities and helps manage the Department's regulatory agenda.
Nayak previously served as Senior Counsel to the Solicitor at the Department. Prior to joining the Department in 2010, Nayak practiced law in New York City, first at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and later at the National Employment Law Project. At both organizations, Nayak supported campaigns around the country to strengthen workplace protections: raising the minimum wage, expanding the coverage of employment laws, and enhancing the enforcement of those laws. He also served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago.
Nayak received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his A.B. in public policy studies from the University of Chicago.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Stephanie Swirsky
Stephanie Swirsky has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor since June 2015. In that role, she is responsible for the operations of the agency and advises the Principal Deputy Secretary for Policy and other agency leaders on the Department's policy priorities and helps manage the Department's regulatory agenda.
Swirsky previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Secretary, Office of the Executive Secretariat. She has over thirty years in public service that has included serving as a Senior Advisor to Secretaries Reich and Herman on collective bargaining and labor-management relations, international trade and labor standards issues; Business Liaison and Deputy Director of the Public Liaison in OSEC's Office of Public Liaison; Director of Programs in the Office of the American Workplace; and Division Chief in the Bureau of Cooperative Labor-Management Programs.
Swirsky has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations and Government from Cornell University and has a Master's Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Director, Workforce Development and Security Division Office of Regulatory and Programmatic Policy Kathleen E. Franks
Kathleen E. Franks is the Director of the Workforce Development and Security Division in the Office of Regulatory and Programmatic Policy. Dr. Franks' division is responsible for routinely providing DOL agency leadership analyses of and recommendations regarding DOL agencies' major regulatory, legislative and policy initiatives related to workforce development and security. Dr. Franks and her team are responsible for evaluation and tracking of DOL regulatory programs and strategies and ensuring that DOL's regulatory initiatives are in compliance with all of the relevant statutes and executive orders that govern the promulgation of regulations by Federal agencies. Dr. Franks is also the co-Chair of the Department's Open Government Initiative Work Group, and represents the Department on interdepartmental regulatory policy committees.
Dr. Franks holds a Ph.D. in Monetary Economics, a Master of Arts degree in Urban Economics from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park, MD.
Chief Evaluation Officer Demetra Smith Nightingale
Demetra Smith Nightingale, PhD, is the Chief Evaluation Officer for the U.S. Department of Labor. As the Chief Evaluation Officer, she is responsible for coordinating the Department's evaluation agenda and working with all agencies to design and implement evaluations. She is an expert in employment policy, workforce development, labor markets, and social policies and programs, and has conducted many evaluations of federal, state, and local programs aimed at increasing employment, skills, and income for workers and families.
Dr. Nightingale is the author or co-author of five books and dozens of articles. Her most recent books are Repairing the U.S. Social Safety Net (with Martha Burt) and Reshaping the American Workforce in a Changing Economy (with Harry Holzer). Previously, she was a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, directing many evaluations and research projects on employment and social policy and on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University's graduate program in public policy.
She is also a Professorial Lecturer at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University, teaching Program Evaluation. In addition, she is a Senior Research Affiliate with the Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, a senior research consultant with the World Bank, has served on many boards and task forces, and was an expert advisor to the White House Welfare Reform Working Group in 1992-93. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Public Policy, both from the George Washington University.