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Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez

Thomas Perez

Thomas E. Perez was nominated by President Obama to serve as the nation's 26th Secretary of Labor, and was sworn in on July 23, 2013.

Previously Perez served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Civil Rights Division enforces federal laws that prohibit discrimination and uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all who live in America. During his tenure of nearly four years, Perez oversaw the effort to restore and expand the division's achievements. Under his leadership as Assistant Attorney General, the division successfully implemented the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act; expanded equal housing opportunity by bringing and settling the largest fair-lending cases in history; protected schoolchildren from discrimination, bullying and harassment; dramatically expanded access to employment, housing and educational opportunities for people with disabilities; protected the right to vote for all eligible voters free from discrimination; took record-setting efforts to ensure that communities have effective and democratically accountable policing; and safeguarded the employment, housing, fair lending and voting rights of service members. He also expanded the division's partnerships across federal agencies to address cross-cutting challenges in human trafficking, employment discrimination and fair lending, among others.

He previously served as the Secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Maryland's DLLR protects consumers through the enforcement of a wide range of consumer rights laws, including the mortgage setting; enforces workplace safety laws that provide critical safeguards to workers and communities; enforces wage and hour and other worker protection laws that ensure wage security; and collaborates with businesses and workers to address critical workforce development needs and build a world-class workforce. Perez was a principal architect of a sweeping package of state lending and foreclosure reforms to address the foreclosure crisis in Maryland. He worked closely with business leaders, community colleges and nonprofits on a dramatic overhaul of Maryland's workforce development system to ensure that workers have the skills to succeed, and employers have the workforce to thrive in the 21st century economy. Perez co-chaired the Governor's Council for New Americans, which designed a comprehensive blueprint for ensuring that immigrants living and working in Maryland are a vital component of the state's economic engine.

Perez has spent his entire career in public service. From 2002 until 2006, he was a member of the Montgomery County Council. He was the first Latino ever elected to the Council, and served as Council president in 2005. Earlier in his career, he spent 12 years in federal public service, most as a career attorney with the Civil Rights Division. As a federal prosecutor for the division, he prosecuted and supervised the prosecution of some of the Justice Department's most high profile civil rights cases, including a hate crimes case in Texas involving a group of white supremacists who went on a deadly, racially-motivated crime spree.

He later served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Attorney General Janet Reno. Among other responsibilities, he chaired the interagency Worker Exploitation Task Force, which oversaw a variety of initiatives designed to protect vulnerable workers. He also served as special counsel to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, and was Senator Kennedy's principal adviser on civil rights, criminal justice and constitutional issues. For the final two years of the Clinton administration, he served as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Perez 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 from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Ann Marie Staudenmaier, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and their three children.

Assistant Secretary Keith Kelly

Keith Kelly

Keith Kelly was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be the Assistant Secretary of the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) in the U.S. Department of Labor. He was sworn in on January 22, 2013 and as the Assistant Secretary, Mr. Kelly reports to the Secretary of Labor. VETS serves as the focal point for veterans employment by preparing military service members for transition to civilian employment, providing veterans the services to assist them with getting good jobs, and protecting their employment rights.

Since 2005, Kelly has been the Commissioner of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, where he previously served as the Administrator of the Unemployment Insurance Division. From 2009 to 2010, Kelly served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Kelly was also appointed by President Clinton as Administrator of the Farm Service Agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. Prior to his appointment by President Clinton, Mr. Kelly served as the Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture, and as its Deputy Secretary of State. He also served as the first Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture for 7 years.

A combat veteran, Kelly was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Bronze Star for service with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. He is a graduate of Red Lodge High School, and received his Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business and his Master's degree in Economics from Montana State University. Mr. Kelly and his wife, the former Norma Jean Walsh of Butte, Montana are the parents of 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

Captain Lory Manning, USN (ret.)

Lory Manning

Captain Lory Manning, USN, (ret.) served in the U. S. Navy for over 25 years and is now Director of the Women in the Military project at the Women’s Research & Education Institute in Washington D.C.   Captain Manning’s field tours include Communications Officer, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station (NCTS) Iceland; Executive Officer, NCTS Balboa Panama, and Commanding Officer, NCTS Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory.  She also served on the staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Naval Personnel, Chief of Legislative Affairs and on the London staff of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe.  She is a graduate of the College of Command and Staff, US Navy War College and the Post-Command Course of the US Navy War College. Her military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, and the Navy Commendation Medal. 

Captain Manning has appeared as a guest commentator on military women's and veterans’ issues on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, ABC Evening News, ABC Nightline, BBC, CBS News, NBC News, O’Reilly Factor, CNN, Hardball, Fox Network News, Hanratty & Combs Show, MSNBC, NPR, and many other radio and TV programs. 

Captain Manning served on the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee on Women Veterans from March 1998 through September 2004 and on the Military Advisory Committee of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network from March 2006 until March 2009.  She holds a BA in History from Trinity College, Washington DC and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) from Georgetown University.

Meredith Kleykamp, PhD

Meredith Kleykamp

Dr. Meredith Kleykamp is currently an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland and a faculty associate of the Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC). Prior to joining the Maryland faculty in 2010, she was an assistant professor at the University of Kansas, and previously taught at the United States Military Academy (West Point). She received a PhD from Princeton University in 2007, and a BA in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.

As a sociologist Dr. Kleykamp is interested in how forces outside individuals can shape individual lives. Her research focuses on people's work lives—their jobs, earnings, and careers. Kleykamp' s past and current research examines the connections between the labor market and three specific institutions: the military, prison, and unions. She explores how these institutions influence patterns of employment and how each institution's influence varies along racial, ethnic, class, and gender lines.

Dr. Kleykamp's primary research program focuses on the military as a unique labor market institution, and draws conceptual and methodological inspiration from past collaborative work on the prison as a labor market institution. Fundamentally, she is interested in understanding why people join the military and how military service influences their lives, especially in the current context of multiple wars fought with a small volunteer force. She has a particular interest in elucidating the mechanisms underlying differences between civilians and veterans, and how the societal context of reception of military veterans shapes their transition from military to civilian life.

Although primarily a quantitative researcher, her work has included a field experiment of hiring practices, a general population experiment in public attitudes, statistical analyses of large datasets, and in-depth individual interviews. Her work has been published in journals such as American Sociological Review, Future of Children, Social Forces, and Armed Forces and Society.

Professor Kleykamp currently teaches graduate courses in military sociology and statistics. She has previously taught undergraduate courses in statistics, research methods, demography and military sociology.

Odette Harris, MD, MPH

Odette Harris

Dr. Odette Harris is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and Director of Brain Injury for Stanford Medical Center.

Dr Harris manages and coordinates the medical and surgical care of all patients suffering from traumatic brain injury that are admitted to the Stanford System. She is the Associate Chief of Staff, Polytrauma at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. As a Polytrauma Center, the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System encompasses Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center and Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers, The Polytrauma Network Sites, The Polytrauma Transitional Program, the Regional Amputation Center and the Assistive Technology Center. The administrative, clinical, research and educational/training efforts related to these multiple and varying programs are her responsibility as the Associate Chief of Staff, Polytrauma.

Dr. Harris graduated from Dartmouth College and received her MD degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. She received numerous academic and research awards at both institutions. She did her internship and residency at Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, California. She also earned a Masters of Public Health, Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. Upon completing her neurosurgical residency, Dr. Harris was awarded the William VanWagenen Fellowship from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Executive Director Rebecca Blanton

Rebecca Blanton

Rebecca Elizabeth Blanton is the current Executive Director of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Rebecca holds a Ph.D. (ABD) in political science with an emphasis in political psychology from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. Rebecca taught for six years at John Jay College in New York City, served as the Executive Director of the Bakersfield AIDS Foundation, and worked for the Philip Morris PAC. Most recently, Rebecca has worked as a non-partisan researcher for the California Research Bureau, where she wrote extensively about the needs of California's women veterans, charter school oversight, and criminal justice issues. Her publications include California's Women Veterans: Responses to the 2011 Survey and California Charter Oversight: Key Elements and Costs as well as more than 20 other publications.



Mandy Silverman

Mandy Silverman

Mandy Silverman is the founding member of homefrontfan, the independent grassroots group addressing women veterans unemployment by performing civic hacks. She promised her brother, an active duty Army infantry enlistee, she'd have his back, but wants to help women veterans because they are worse off, with higher unemployment than that of their male counterparts.

Mandy has 10+ years experience founding startups and building growth companies as an entrepreneur, lead marketer, operator and venture capitalist at tech companies including Apple, BlueRun Ventures, LoopUp, Shutterfly and Yelp. She pioneered emerging technologies to deliver over $100 million in supply chain savings for the U.S. Postal Service and architected the grassroots marketing campaign, Yard Sale for Obama, which was featured on ABC, CNN, The Telegraph and TIME. Mandy holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BBA (Honors) from The George Washington University. A Cincinnati-native, Mandy now resides in the Bay Area and serves on the Board of Advisors for early stage companies.

Dan Jeffers

Dan Jeffers

For ten years, Dan has been leading web strategy and communications teams, often focusing on large Federal health, Education, and cross-agency websites and associated digital campaigns. He has successfully matched the promise of emerging technologies and environments to the often restrictive requirements faced by Federal clients.

He has also worked with businesses and non-profits to promote branding, develop business, and promote causes. He has expertise in web content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy, and is writing a book on the nature of web content titled "Epic Unified Theory of Web Content."



Additional experience includes:

  • Serving in the United States Navy submarine service during a period of intense cold war operations
  • Graduate of Georgetown University Law Center

Sean Perkins

Sean Perkins

Sean has been a technologist all his life. He spent four years in the U.S. Army touring in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne. Wanting to get back to his love of technology, he founded an engineering consulting firm specializing in advanced CNC machines. After moving to DC, Sean was able to utilize his web and mobile technology skills for DC's non-profits and businesses. Now Sean spends his time hacking code, tackling complex data migration projects, and transforming client needs into reality.





Arielle Baker

Arielle Baker

A Michigan native, Arielle graduated in 2012 from Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) obtaining her BA in Psychology with minors in both Gender Studies and Communications Arts and Science. During her time in Grand Rapids she interned at the Women's Resource Center and coached women in overcoming their barriers to employment. She originally moved to DC for an internship at the Women's Media Center where she worked in the SheSource division of the organization and assisted in carrying out the mission of making women more visible and powerful in media. Currently she is the Program Manager for Elevate, a grant-writing firm for small and medium sized non-profits. She has been with the company since day one and has therefore played a vital role in the company's growth and change. In addition to her work at Elevate, Arielle is a co-chair of the non-profit network for the Women's Information Network (WIN) of DC. When she is not solving problems at Elevate or rallying for women's rights she enjoys exploring the city.



Jim Borbely

Jim Borbely has been an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics since 2005 and is an expert on the Current Population Survey and Veterans data analysis. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, authoring the Employment Situation of Veterans--2012, the U.S. labor market in 2008: Economy in Recession, and Sizing up the 2007-09 recession: Comparing two key labor market indicators with earlier downturns. Mr. Borbely received his MA in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and his BA in Economics from University of Maryland, College Park.

Jennifer Hunt

Jennifer Hunt

Jennifer Hunt is Chief Economist to the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

She is on leave from her position as Professor of Economics at Rutgers University. She held previous positions at McGill University, the University of Montreal and Yale University. She is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, and is on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (the Research Institute of the German Federal Employment Agency) in Nuremburg.

She has done research in the areas of employment and unemployment policy, immigration, wage inequality, transition economics, crime and corruption. Her current research focuses on immigration and innovation in the United States, the U.S. science and engineering workforce, and the 2008-2009 recession in Germany.

She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard and her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

KC Choi

KC Choi

Kyung 'KC' Choi, Senior Vice President and Program Director for Citi Salutes will be leading our efforts to ensure continued support for all of Citi's programs, products and partnerships that support the greater veterans and military community. Citi Salutes encompasses a company-wide effort that comprises the coordinated activities of internal and external stakeholders in order to empower veterans, active-duty military personnel, spouses and their families with the tools they need to realize their professional and personal ambitions. It sits functionally within Citi Community Development and works with our employee-led Military Veteran Networks and a cross-business steering committee led by a number of Citi senior executives.

Currently a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, KC serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Reserve Component Command. Commissioned in December 1998, his Reserve assignments included the Joint Public Affairs Support Element, Navy Central Command/5th Fleet, Navy's Office of Information Northeast (NAVINFO East), Navy Office of Information (CHINFO) at the Pentagon. He has also served on active duty as the submarine force public affairs officer (2011), media officer for U.S. Central Command (2006-2007), and deputy director for the Navy's Office of Information Northeast in New York City (2005-2006). KC also has extensive civilian experience in Marketing Communications. He has worked in Advertising and Public Affairs agencies in New York and Washington, D.C. developing solutions in Marketing, Branding, Public Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility and Crisis Communications. His has broad experience in various industries, including Consumer Products, Technology and Financial Services.

While born in South Korea, he grew up in Mount Vernon, NY (southern Westchester) and is a resident of New Rochelle, NY. KC graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY), College at Geneseo and also has an MBA from the George Washington University. KC is a member of military associations, including the American Legion (Pelham Post 50), Association for the United States Navy (AUSN) and Reserve Officers Association (ROA).

Brad Turner-Little


Brad Turner-Little is the Director of Mission Strategy for Goodwill Industries International (GII). In his second stint with GII, Turner-Little now leads the organization's strategic engagement related to mission services through developing collaborations with public and private partners, proactive visioning, strategic leadership, and technical support for 165 local Goodwill member agencies across North America. He also works to facilitate Goodwill members' mission growth via enhanced business capability and integration of effective workforce development practices. Before serving in this role, Turner-Little was an Assistant Vice President of Government Relations for Easter Seals Office of Public Affairs, where he represented Easter Seals interests in workforce development policy issues, as well as veterans issues and public policy development related to non-profit operations, governance and charitable giving incentives. Prior to that, Turner-Little worked for GII as a National Workforce Consultant as well as in their public policy unit, where he focused on policy areas related to the employment of people with disabilities. Turner-Little began his career as a job developer for Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. Turner-Little is a graduate of Wake Forest University and has a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Nell Merlino

Nell Merlino

Nell Merlino is Founder and President of Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million $ enterprises. She is author of "Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want it Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work," from Broadway Books, which is available from Throughout her career, Nell Merlino has been inspiring millions of people to take action. She is the creative force behind Take Our Daughters to Work Day, which moved more than 71 million Americans to participate in a day dedicated to giving girls the opportunity to dream bigger about their future.

Through Count Me In, Nell is now inspiring women entrepreneurs to dream big and achieve even more. She is leading a global movement to empower women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to a million dollars and beyond by providing tools, resources, and a supportive community of their peers. Count Me In's Make Mine a Million $ Business program reaches women entrepreneurs in communities around the country through events and on-line community. This movement will not only add millions of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity, but take women to new levels of independence, empowering them to act as economic leaders.

Nell is also the founder and President of Strategy Communication Action, Ltd. (SCA) in New York City, a firm specializing in the creation of public education campaigns that motivate people to act. She is a member of the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP), and appointed a Pathways Envoy by the U.S. State Department to promote women's business growth through South and North America. Nell also sits on the board of the American Enterprise Organization. Prior to founding Count Me In, Merlino created campaigns like the YWCA's The Week Without Violence, the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, worked in two state governments, was an advance woman in presidential politics, a union organizer and a Fulbright Scholar.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Terry Gerton

Terry Gerton

Teresa W. Gerton began June 17 as the department's new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Veterans' Employment and Training Service. Gerton brings 28 years of service as both an active duty Army officer and a civilian member of the Senior Executive Service. She has a broad range of experience in all aspects of Defense resource and logistics management at various organizational levels, driving process efficiencies and optimizing information systems.

Most recently, Gerton worked for The Cohen Group, a Washington, DC consulting company. Prior to joining Cohen, Gerton served for eight years as a member of the Senior Executive Service in the Department of Defense. Most recently, she was the Executive Deputy to the Commanding General of Army Materiel Command. There, she was responsible for the daily operations of over 70,000 civilian and 1,500 military employees around the world. Prior to that, she served as AMC's financial controller for three years. She also served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Program Analysis and Evaluation where she was responsible for executing all aspects of the development of the OSD Future Years Defense Plan and submitting the plan to Congress.

Ms. Gerton's twenty years of military service included a variety of staff and leadership positions, including the Executive Officer for the Army's largest battalion (a 1200-soldier corps support maintenance battalion at Fort Hood), Professor of Economics at the United States Military Academy, and Company Commander of a 300-person direct support maintenance company in Germany. Ms. Gerton graduated from the United States Military Academy and earned an MBA from Duke University. She earned the Distinguished Presidential Rank award in 2011 and the Meritorious Presidential Rank award in 2008. She also received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2011.

DOL's Women Veteran Team

Ariel Grace Batungbacal

Ariel Grace Batungbacal

Ariel served as the Secretary of Labor's White House Fellow, and is a Major in the U.S. Air Force. She served as the Joint Staff J2/Director of Intelligence's Deputy Executive Assistant. Prior to that, she was Branch Chief for Middle East Strategy, leading intelligence efforts for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's policy development. She served over five years in overseas assignments, supporting military operations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including three deployments supporting Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. She received the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Award, and several military decorations to include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and two AF Meritorious Service Medals. Ariel received an Executive Master's in Leadership from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. She earned a M.A. in Diplomacy from Norwich University, B.A. in Chinese and B.A. in Government/Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. Ariel concluded her fellowship on September 13th to return to the U.S. Air Force to embark on her next assignment to Hurlburt Field, Florida.



Jenny Erwin

Jenny Erwin

Jenny served as Senior Advisor for the Women Veteran Initiative with VETS in the US Department of Labor. Prior to coming to VETS, she was the Women's Bureau Regional Administrator overseeing programs and staff out of the Region 9 office in San Francisco. During her 13 years with the Women's Bureau, she worked on a variety of initiatives including Women Veterans, Women in Green Jobs, Equal Pay, Workplace Flexibility and Financial literacy and received more than a dozen Secretary's Exceptional Achievement Awards. She was also recognized with the DOL's Distinguished Career Service Award. From 2009-2012, her region had a strong focus on women veterans' issues that resulted in the implementation of California's first women-only Stand Down, the development of the Trauma Guide, and a workplace flexibility forum targeting military families. Last year, she also provided training throughout Region 9 on the Trauma Guide.

Prior to coming to DOL, Jenny spent 17 years in Phoenix as the Gender Equity Administrator for the Arizona Department of Education. In that role, she administered federal funds and created programs to support the single parent, displaced homemaker and gender equity legislation of the Carl Perkins Vocational Act. She also served 10 years as the Career Education Coordinator for the Flagstaff School system. She has a Masters in Guidance & Counseling and post graduate credentials from Northern Arizona University and BS in Elementary Education from Maryville College. Jenny completed her special assignment with DOL, VETS on September 6, but remains committed to women veterans.

Tonya Thompson

Tonya Thompson

Tonya joined the Women's Bureau in 2010 as a Program Analyst in the Office of Policy and Programs. During her time she received the Secretary's Honor Award for Veterans' Employment Assistance and the Secretary's Exceptional Achievement Award. Prior to that, she was a Research Associate at Windwalker Corporation. She specialized in collection, analysis, and reporting of social science research data. Previously, Tonya spent 7 years working in academic and public libraries where she designed and implemented library instruction programs. Tonya's research focus has included electronic equity for equal access to information, information policy, and innovative information media. Tonya received a Master's in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University and a Bachelor's of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science from Michigan State University.



Nancy A. Glowacki

Nancy A. Glowacki

Nancy began August 19, 2013 as the Women Veteran Program Manager with the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans' Employment & Training Services (VETS).

Prior to coming to VETS, she served as a subject matter expert on veterans' transition issues for the military, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and as an independent consultant. Nancy has worked on a variety of veterans' employment initiatives and programs, including Coming Home to Work, America's Heroes at Work, and Employment Workshops. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served among both the enlisted and officer ranks. Nancy has served as a committee member on the Department of Veterans Affairs' Advisory Committee for Women Veterans and Committee on Rehabilitation. Her education includes a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership, a Masters of Business Administration in Human Resource Management, and a Bachelor of Science.