Tom came to the commission  with a solid reputation as an effective leader, having led the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services several years earlier.  His work there helped improve access to better health care services for otherwise marginalized groups, such as the disabled. Together, our work on the commission focused on ways to bring diversity and excellence to our nation’s healthcare workforce with the goal of providing better care to more people. Tom’s ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders, in addition to his insights as a civil rights attorney who had worked in both the legislative and executive branches, provided an important contribution to our work.
As the commission traveled coast-to-coast in a series of field hearings, Tom’s personal story of overcoming adversity served as inspiration to many minority students trying to gain entry into medical, dental, and nursing schools. Tom’s dedication to hard work and excellence provides  a good role model for our increasingly diverse and changing workforce.
As our commission deliberated on recommendations, Tom worked toward developing the right solutions to many perplexing workforce issues. He did so , always aiming to improve opportunity for others.
Since then, Tom has shown the same dedication in his service as Maryland’s secretary of Labor and U.S. assistant attorney general for Civil Rights. I am confident that he will bring this same work ethic to lead an inclusive Department of Labor that is dedicated to ensuring that all American workers, including those who have traditionally been left behind, have the opportunity to reach their greatest potential in the workplace.
We owe it to the citizens we serve to put our best foot forward. It’s what Tom Perez has done throughout his career and what the Senate should do when considering his nomination.

Dr Sullivan served as HHS Secretary in the George H.W. Bush Administration, 1989-1993.