The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor and former faculty member at Maryland Carey Law, will deliver the keynote address May 20, 2016 during the school’s Hooding Ceremony.
A civil rights lawyer by training with a long career in public service, Perez leads the U.S. Department of Labor in its mission of addressing inequality and creating shared prosperity. Under his leadership, priorities for the department include ensuring a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work through continued efforts to raise the minimum wage, expanding overtime protections, and improving job training and workforce development.
“We are incredibly honored and excited that Secretary Perez will be returning to the law school to share his wisdom and celebrate our graduates’ professional and academic achievements,” said Maryland Carey Law Dean Donald B. Tobin.
While on the faculty at Maryland Carey Law from 2001 to 2007, Perez taught in the school’s nationally recognized Law & Health Care Program and also directed the Clinical Law Program, one of the oldest, largest and most successful such programs in the country, providing free legal services across Maryland. In 2002 he became the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council and later served as Council President.
After leaving the Maryland Carey Law faculty, Secretary Perez served as the Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. He previously served as special counselor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy and as Director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration.
The son of Dominican immigrants, Perez was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and received both a master’s of public policy and JD from Harvard University.