Irasema Garza is the President and CEO of the Alliance of Latinx Leadership and Policy (ALLP). She is an attorney, executive, and strategist with extensive public policy experience and a demonstrated record of success leading federal government and non-profit organizations.
She served as a senior executive within two federal administrations at the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as Senior Counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Labor. Irasema brought a broad range of experience to the Department of Labor during a period of intense national focus on governmental labor and employment policy. In her position, she administered the execution of a diverse set of high-priority projects and programs, oversaw several DOL subsidiary agencies, and provided strategic advice to the Secretary on a wide range of issues. She also served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy within the Department.
Earlier, in 1993, she was appointed by President Clinton as the first Secretary of the U.S. National Administrative Office, the office charged with implementing the labor provisions of NAFTA where she successfully managed the creation of the agency, building coalitions between U.S. labor groups, businesses, and government agencies. She is credited with effectively using domestic and international media interest to increase public awareness of NAFTA labor disputes and public opinion to pressure resolutions. President Clinton later nominated her to serve as the fourteenth director of the Women’s Bureau within the Department of Labor, the only federal agency office mandated by Congress to represent America’s wage-earning women in the public policy process. After receiving a unanimous Senate confirmation, she set to work ensuring that economic security for women was a policy priority for the Department of Labor.
Irasema has extensive experience advocating for and reaching out to large, diverse populations of constituents. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, from 2008 to 2011, she served as President and CEO of Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. Under her leadership, the 40-year-old national advocacy organization was transformed into a women’s rights organization for the 21st Century pressing for policy reforms to advance gender equality and ensure the economic and personal security of women and their families.
Before turning to public policy, Garza began her career in the Michigan family court system. She earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
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