Former AFL-CIO official tapped to lead Labor Department division

Former AFL-CIO official tapped to lead Labor Department division
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Former AFl-CIO official Thea Lee has been appointed deputy undersecretary for international labor affairs at the Department of Labor. 

Lee served as deputy chief of staff, policy director and chief international economist at the union group from 1997 to 2017. She became president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a left-leaning think tank, since 2018. Her first day with the administration was Monday. 

Lee’s responsibilities include enforcement of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is the trade deal negotiated under the Trump administration to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement 


She said in a statement that it’s a “consequential moment in history” for the Labor Department’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

“Under the leadership of President BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE, Vice President Harris and Labor Secretary Marty WalshMarty WalshBoston mayor fires city's police commissioner months after domestic abuse allegations emerge Senate Latino Democrats warn about low Hispanic vaccination rates Labor secretary faces questions from Democrats in police chief controversy MORE, ILAB will have the resources and the moral authority to play an essential role in lifting up, strengthening and enforcing workers’ rights around the world. I look forward to supporting the administration’s ambitious efforts to define and build out a 'worker-centered trade and foreign policy,' ” Lee said. 

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday she departed from her role at the EPI on Friday. In a farewell letter dated April 22, Lee said she “accepted a job in the Biden/Harris administration,” adding “details to come!” 

The Journal also noted that EPI is a frequent critic of free trade policies.