July 1, 2022

Tom Perez

Tom Perez Biography 

Tom Perez, born Thomas Edward Perez is a politician and attorney from the US. He is the current chair of the Democratic National Committee as of February 2017. He previously held the chair of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights from the year 2009 to 2013. He is also the previous United States Secretary of Labor, a position he held from the year 2013 to 2017.

Tom Perez Age

Born on the 7th of October, 1961 he was 57 years old as of 2018.

Tom Perez Family

Born to Rafael Antonio de Jesus Perez Lara and Grace Altagracia Brache Bernard, Tom is the youngest of five children. His parents are of Dominican descent. His father earned US citizenship after enlisting in the army. His father worked as a doctor. His mother was the daughter to the then Dominican Republic Ambassador to the US, Raphael Brache.

He was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. His father suffered a massive heart attack on the 29th of June, 1974 to which he succumbed. He was 12 years old at the time of his father’s death. All his four siblings are doctors, following in their father’s footsteps. He says his three brothers encouraged him to join the profession but he fainted while watching his brother performing an operation and thus he looked for another career choice.

Tom Perez Wife- Kids

He met his wife Anne Marie Staudenmaier while they were both volunteering with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. The couple lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with their children. His wife is an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

The couple has three children, two girls, and a boy. Amalia Perez is the eldest with Susana Perez being the middle child, Rafael Perez is the last born of the family.

Tom Perez and his wife and kids.

Tom Perez Education

He attended an all-boys Jesuit school in his hometown, Canisius High School. He graduated in 1979.
He put himself through campus by working various jobs like collecting trash, delivering newspapers and picking up balls at a golf driving range. He attended Brown University. Here he worked at the university’s dining hall. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. In 1983, he graduated receiving his Bachelor of Arts in political science and international relations.

He did his masters at the Havard Law School. While here he worked as a law clerk for Attorney General Edwin Meese. He received a Juris Doctor cum laude in 1987. That same year he was the recipient of a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Tom Perez Career

He worked as a law clerk for Judge Zita Weinshienk in the District Court of Colorado, after his graduation from Harvard. He worked here from the year 1987 to 1989.

He went on to work in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Here he worked as a federal prosecutor from 1989 to 1995.
He became the principal adviser to Democratic Massachusetts Senator, Ted Kennedy, on civil rights, criminal justice, and constitutional issues. This was from 1995 to 1998.

He worked as the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Health and Human Services. This was during the last two years of the second Clinton administration.

He was a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. Here he taught in the clinical law and health program. He also taught part-time at the George Washington University School of Public Health. This was during the year 2001 to 2007.

In 2002 he ran for the county council of Montgomery County, Maryland. He bested his competitors for the seat. He became the first Hispanic council member. During his time in the council, he served on various committees. Health and Human Services and Transportation and the Environment are some of the aforementioned committees. He was council president between the years of 2004 and 2005.
He pushed for legislation on predatory lending. This allowed for the investigation and persecution of loan sharks. It also raised compensation for victims to the predatory lenders.

He was an adamant opposer of the privatization of a non-profit health insurer know as CareFirst. He got support in the county council and in the Maryland General Assembly. The acquisition of CareFirst was rejected by Maryland’s Commissioner of Insurance, as he led the council to a unanimous vote against the merger.
He and Marilyn Praisner, a fellow council member, introduced the initiative to provide affordable prescription drugs for county employees and retirees. This was in 2004. He was on the council from 2002 to 2006.

He launched his candidacy to run for Attorney General of Maryland when it was made public that the then AG Joseph Curran Jr. announced his retirement in 2006. Maryland’s State Teachers Association and the Service Employees International Union are just some of the labor groups that backed him. Due to the requirement that candidates for the Attorney General’s seat had to have a minimum of 10 years of law practice, he was not qualified. These were the rules under Maryland’s State Constitution. As a result, he supported Martin O’Malley who was successful in his bid for the Governor of Maryland seat.

Governor Martin O’Malley chose Tom to run the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in 2007. In his new role, he targeted companies that dealt in workplace fraud. He imposed new restrictions on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. He was vital in the implementation of the Workplace Fraud Act of 2009. In May 2009 the act was signed into law by Governor O’Malley.

He was a key adviser to O’Malley in the healthcare workforce shortage that plagued Maryland. He helped in developing a plan that allowed immigrants with nursing qualifications get certifications in the state. This alleviated and relieved the nurse shortage in Maryland.
He served as co-chair of the Maryland Workforce Creation and Adult Education Transition Council.

He was integral in the legalization of slot machines in the state. This was in a bid to raise revenue for the state. The move was also meant to preserve Maryland’s horse racing and breeding industries. The new revenue would help in addressing issues of public education and construction of schools. It was approved in a state referendum by voters in 2008, the state went on to add 15,000 new slot machines.

March 18th, 2013, saw his nomination to Secretary of Labor by President Barack Obama. His nomination was met with mixed feelings with some supporting it and others criticizing it. On the 18th of July, 2013, he was confirmed Secretary of Labor with the Senate voting 54-46 in his favor. His confirmation was termed ‘historic’ by the press observers as it was the first Senate confirmation vote in history in which a cabinet member’s confirmation received a party-line vote.

On the 15th of December, 2016, he announced his candidacy for Chair of the Democratic National Committee(DNC). He was elected DNC chair on the 25th of February, 2017. He is the first Dominican-American to chair the Democratic National Committee.

Tom Perez Interview