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.
In 2017, Perez was elected as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
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.
April 23, 2020
News from Brown
This article reflects on the conversation between former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, both Brown alumni, that touched on the upcoming general election and the social consciousness of the Brown community.
March 19, 2019
Yesterday's event"In Conversation with Tom Perez '83 and Michael Steele," co-sponsored by the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy is featured. "I reject the premise we can’t have healthcare for all...The rest of the world has figured this one out and we’re the only industrialized nation on the planet that hasn’t," said Perez.
September 29, 2017
The Washington Post
Most millennials believe that neither the Democratic or Republican party care about them, according to the Pew Research Center.