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Seth Harris

Seth Harris
United States Deputy Secretary of Labor
In office
May 26, 2009 – January 16, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Howard Radzely
Succeeded by M. Patricia Smith (acting)
United States Secretary of Labor
In office
January 22, 2013 – July 23, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Hilda Solis
Succeeded by Thomas Perez
Personal details
Born (1962-10-12) October 12, 1962
Spouse(s) Karen Beth Rosen[1]
Alma mater Cornell University
New York University
Religion Judaism

Seth D. Harris (born October 12, 1962) was the 11th United States Deputy Secretary of Labor.[2][3] Nominated by Barack Obama in February 2009, Harris was unanimously confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Labor by the U.S. Senate in May 2009, and became acting Secretary of Labor following the resignation of Hilda Solis in January, 2013. Harris is also a member of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation's Board of Directors.[4] Harris stepped down from his post by January 16, 2014 and was replaced, in his capacity, by M. Patricia Smith on an acting basis.[5] Since resigning as Deputy Secretary of Labor, Harris has served as Counsel in the Public Policy and Regulation Practice in the Dentons law firm.[6]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • Prior Labor Department service 2.1
    • Academic career 2.2
    • Obama connections 2.3
  • Personal life 3
  • 4 Articles and books
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and education

His father is the late Dr. Jonathan Harris, a high school teacher and author of young adult non-fiction books.[7] His mother is Martha Harris, a retired high school librarian.[7] Harris’s brother is radio personality Paul Harris.[8] Harris earned a B.S. from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1983 and was a member of the Quill and Dagger society.[9] He later obtained a J.D. from New York University School of Law where he was editor-in-chief of the Review of Law & Social Change[10] and a member of the Order of the Coif.[9] Harris was a law clerk to Chief Judge Gene Carter of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine and Judge William C. Canby, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.[11]


Prior Labor Department service

Harris served as Counselor to the Secretary and in other Labor Department policymaking roles for seven years advising both President Clinton’s first-term Labor Secretary Robert Reich and second-term Secretary Alexis Herman on legal, policy and management issues.[9]

Academic career

For nine years prior to joining the Obama Administration, Harris was a Professor of Law and Director of Labor & Employment Law Programs at employment discrimination laws in general.[12]

Harris served as a Senior Fellow of the Life Without Limits Project of the

Political offices
Preceded by
Howard Radzely
United States Deputy Secretary of Labor
Succeeded by
M. Patricia Smith
Preceded by
Hilda Solis
United States Secretary of Labor

Succeeded by
Thomas Perez
  • United States Department of Labor, Seth Harris

External links

  1. ^ "NYU Law - 2009-10 ALMOs: Seth Harris (June)". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  2. ^ Secunda, Paul M. (January 24, 2013). "Former Law Prof Seth Harris Appointed Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor". Workplace Prof Blog. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Meet the Secretary of Labor". U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved January 24, 2013. Hilda L. Solis resigned as Secretary of Labor on January 22, 2013. Deputy Secretary Seth D. Harris is the Acting Secretary of Labor. 
  4. ^ OPIC Board of Directors, Seth D. Harris. Retrieved August 2011
  5. ^ "Acting Deputy Secretary of Labor and Solicitor of Labor". Office of the Secretary. Department of Labor. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Seth Harris-Counsel-Dentons
  7. ^ a b c New York Times: "Karen B. Rosen and Seth D. Harris Wedding Announcement" June 22, 1997
  8. ^ Harrisonline,
  9. ^ a b c d "Who Runs the Government: Seth Harris".  
  10. ^ "NYU Law". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  11. ^ a b "Seth D. Harris, New York Law School Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  12. ^ a b "Seth D. Harris Publications, New York Law School Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  13. ^ "Life Without Limits Project of the United Cerebral Palsy Association". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  14. ^ Georgetown University Law School’s Workplace Flexibility 2010 National Advisory Commission
  15. ^ a b c "Agency Working Group Members, Obama-Biden Transition Team". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 


  • Dau-Schmidt, Kenneth G.; Harris, Seth D.; Lobel, Orly (2009). Labor and Employment Law & Economics (Edward Elgar Pub) . 
  • Seth D. Harris and Michael Ashley Stein, "Workplace Disability" in Labor and Employment Law and Economics (Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Seth D. Harris, and Orly Lobel, eds.), Edward Elgar Pub., 2009, webpage: "Labor and Employment Law".
  • James P. Baker, David B. Mixner, and Seth D. Harris, The State of Disability in America: An Evaluation of the Disability Experience by the Life without Limits Project (UCP 2007), webpage: UCP-282, United Cerebral Palsy Association.
  • Seth D. Harris, "The Mis-Directed Debate Over the Economics of Disabilities Accommodations," in Human Resources Economics and Public Policy: Essays in Honor of Vernon M. Briggs, Jr. (Charles J. Whalen, ed.), W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2009, webpage: Upj145.
  • Seth D. Harris, “Law, Economics, and Accommodations in the Internal Labor Market,” 10 U. PA. J. BUS. & LAB. L. 1 (Fall 2007).Social Sciences Research Network
  • Seth D. Harris, "Disabilities Accommodations, Transaction Costs, and Mediation: Evidence from the EEOC's Mediation Program", 13 Harv. Negot. L. Rev. 1 (Winter 2008), webpage: SSRN-648, Social Sciences Research Network.
  • Seth D. Harris, "Don't Mourn — Reorganize!: An Introduction to the Next Wave Organizing Conference Volume", 49 N.Y.L.Sch. L. Rev. 303 (2005-2006).Social Sciences Research Network
  • Seth D. Harris, "Innocence and The Sopranos", 49 N.Y. L. Sch L. Rev. 577 (2004-2005).Social Sciences Research Network
  • Seth D. Harris, "Introduction: Understanding the Context for the ‘Coehlo Challenge’", 48 N.Y. L. Sch. L. Rev. 711 (2004).Social Sciences Research Network
  • Seth D. Harris, "Re-Thinking the Economics of Discrimination: US Airways v. Barnett, the ADA, and the Application of Internal Labor Markets Theory", 89 Iowa L. Rev. 123 (Oct. 2003).Social Sciences Research Network
  • Seth D. Harris, "Coase's Paradox and the Inefficiency of Permanent Strike Replacements", 80 Wash. U. L.Q. 1185 (2002).Social Sciences Research Network
  • Seth D. Harris, "Conceptions of Fairness and the Fair Labor Standards Act", 18 Hofstra Lab. & Emp. L. J. 19 (Fall 2000).Social Sciences Research Network
  • Seth D. Harris, Note, "Permitting Prejudice to Govern: Equal Protection, Military Deference, and the Exclusion of Lesbians and Gay Men from the Military", 17 N.Y.U. Rev. L. Soc. Change 171 (1989-1990).
  • "Old 9-to-5 Grind Begins to Look Good", Los Angeles Times (Op Ed), June 1, 2003 at M5.
  • "A Short Transition (Thank Goodness)", Washington Post (Op Ed), December 20, 2000 at A35.
  • "The Pizza Hut Subsidy", Washington Post (Op Ed), October 4, 2000 at A33.

Articles and books

In 1997, Harris married Karen Beth Rosen, a social worker, in a service officiated by Rabbi Irwin N. Goldenberg at the Strong Mansion, a historic house in Dickerson, Maryland.[7]

Personal life

Harris served as a member of the Agency Review Working Group of the Obama-Biden Transition Team with responsibility for the federal government’s transportation, labor, and education agencies.[15] Harris also chaired Obama for America’s Labor, Employment and Workplace Policy Committee and Disability Policy Committee.[15] He had served as a member of the Clinton-Gore Transition Team in 1992 and 1993.[9]

Obama connections


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