Harris ’83 will serve as Biden’s top labor adviser

The White House announced March 5 that Seth Harris ’83, a visiting professor at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, will join the National Economic Council as deputy assistant to the president for labor and economy.

As Biden’s top labor adviser, Harris will coordinate relationships between the administration and labor groups, and oversee its workers’ rights efforts, according to Bloomberg.


Seth Harris

Seth Harris

Harris is a graduate of the ILR School, where he served as a distinguished scholar.

“Seth Harris has had a distinguished career in academia and public service. He will play a vital part in the new administration’s labor policymaking and relations with unions,” said Alexander Colvin, Ph.D. ’99, the Kenneth F. Kahn ’69 Dean and the Martin F. Scheinman ’75, M.S. ’76, Professor of Conflict Resolution.

“His focus on worker rights and labor relations is an important signal of the administration’s approach to labor and economic matters. He is a tremendous example of how ILR’s alumni contribute to public service and policy,” Colvin said.

Harris was the Biden-Harris campaign’s principal labor policy adviser and a member of the U.S. Labor Department transition team. He was acting secretary of labor and deputy U.S. secretary of labor from 2009 to 2014 during the Obama Administration and served for six and 1/2 years in the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration.

An attorney, business adviser and former trade unionist, Harris has co-authored three books and authored scholarly articles and op-eds on labor, employment, leadership, retirement and economics.

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