U.S. deputy labor secretary to speak on role of workers in new economy

October 13, 2011 | Events, UToday
By Jon Strunk


United States Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris will discuss “The Role of Workers in a 21st Century Economy: An Administration Perspective” at the UT College of Law’s 2011 Cannon Lecture at 11:45 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, in the Law Center Auditorium.

Harris will discuss the current economic crisis, highlighting some of the Obama administration’s actions taken in order to stem high unemployment, and some of the policy prescriptions being proposed to further help the situation.

The Cannon Lectures were established in 1980 in memory of former Toledo attorney Joseph A. Cannon, through a gift from his family and friends. The lecture series is intended to provide an opportunity for the College of Law, the University and the greater Toledo community to host individuals of national prominence who, in discussing questions of law and society, will emphasize the humanistic dimensions as well as limitations of the legal system.

“Deputy Secretary Harris’ topic fits squarely within the criteria of the Cannon Lecture, particularly at this moment in our nation’s history, ” said Daniel Steinbock, dean of the College of Law. “Our students, staff and members of the community will have a chance to hear how the administration intends to address unemployment and the economic plight of middle class and working families in the current recession. There could not be a more timely or pressing topic.”

Harris was nominated to be the deputy secretary of labor in February 2009. Prior to joining the department, he was a professor of law at New York Law School and director of its labor and employment law programs.

Before his work at the New York Law School, Harris served at the Department of Labor during the Clinton administration as counselor to the secretary of labor and as acting assistant secretary of labor for policy, among other policy-advising positions.

Harris is a graduate of the New York University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Review of Law and Social Change. He served as a law clerk to Judge William Canby of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Judge Gene Carter of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.

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