Tom Perez currently serves as the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Prior to the DNC, Tom served as the 26th U.S. Secretary of Labor, working to reignite the department’s fight to protect and expand opportunities for American workers.
The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Tom grew up in Buffalo where he learned hard work, integrity, service, and perseverance by putting himself through college, earning tuition money on the back of a garbage truck. He went to law school, and started his career as a civil rights attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Later, Tom was special counsel to Senator Ted Kennedy, advising him on civil rights, criminal justice, and constitutional issues. Tom also served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Attorney General Janet Reno and led the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the end of the Clinton administration.
Tom’s also been a local leader and organizer, running and winning a seat on the Montgomery County Council. He then served as Secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In 2002, Tom started as board president at CASA de Maryland, an organization that provides services to immigrants.
Tom received a bachelor's degree from Brown University in 1983. In 1987, he received a master of public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a law degree from Harvard Law School.