Edward-Isaac Dovere is a staff writer for The Atlantic. He started his career covering New York politics and went on to be the chief White House correspondent during the Obama White House. He serves as The Atlantic’s chief campaign correspondent for the 2020 Democratic primary race. He has reported from Riyadh to Cedar Rapids, from New Hampshire to Hiroshima. His work has been recognized by the New York Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists, and is the winner of the 2017 Merriman Smith Award from the White House Correspondents Association. He will also be the author of the upcoming “You Are Right to Be Concerned: Democrats in Crisis in the Age of Trump,” due out from Viking in 2021.
The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Tom Perez ’83 grew up in Buffalo where he learned the values of a union town: hard work, integrity, service, and perseverance.
After putting himself through college with Pell Grants and working on the back of a garbage truck, Tom passed up offers from white-shoe law firms, instead choosing to start his career as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Justice Department prosecuting racially motivated hate crimes.
For the past 8 years, Tom had the privilege of serving in President Obama’s administration. First as head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, where he led the charge against police misconduct, voter suppression, anti-LGBT discrimination, and immigrant-bashing sheriffs’ departments. Then as Secretary of Labor, fighting to protect and expand opportunities for America’s working people – from better wages and overtime pay, to retirement security and collective bargaining rights.
But Tom’s strongest roots are in local organizing. In 2002, he became the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council. And as board president of CASA de Maryland, Tom helped grow the organization from a small service provider in the basement of a church to one of the largest immigrant advocacy groups in the mid-Atlantic.