Video still of Tom Perez

Thomas Perez

Chair, Democratic National Committee

Thomas Perez served as chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2017 to 2021. The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, he grew up in Buffalo where he learned the values of a union town: hard work, integrity, service, and perseverance. After putting himself through college with Pell Grants and working on the back of a garbage truck, Perez started his career as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Justice Department prosecuting racially motivated hate crimes.

Perez’s strongest roots are in local organizing. In 2002, he became the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council. And as board president of CASA de Maryland, Perez helped grow the organization from a small service provider in the basement of a church to one of the largest immigrant advocacy groups in the mid-Atlantic. From 2009-2017, Perez served in President Obama’s administration. First he served as head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, where he led the charge against police misconduct, voter suppression, anti-LGBT discrimination, and immigrant-bashing sheriffs’ departments. Then he served as Secretary of Labor, fighting to protect and expand opportunities for America’s working people—from better wages and overtime pay, to retirement security and collective bargaining rights.

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