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COVID-19 Policy Discussion: Work, Workers, and Public Policy During a Pandemic

Monday, June 8, 2020 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Virtual Event

The COVID-19 pandemic has put an extraordinary strain on public institutions and policymakers struggling to respond simultaneously to acute public health challenges and the unprecedented economic consequences. Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth Harris will discuss the pandemic-related public policy issues affecting workers, labor markets, and workplaces and the U.S. government's response to those issues. Secretary Harris led the U.S. Department of Labor's response to the last economic crisis --- the Great Recession --- and the implementation of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

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Seth D. Harris is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and a Visiting Professor at Cornell University’s Institute for Public Affairs. Building on almost seven years of service in the Clinton Administration, he was Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor (and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet) and Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2009 to 2014. Now, Secretary Harris is one of the nation’s most sought-after analysts and commentators on work, workers, workplaces, labor market and retirement issues, government leadership, and government performance.

During the recent covid-19 pandemic, Secretary Harris made several dozen television and radio appearances, and participated in webinars for numerous organizations, to help Americans understand the pandemic’s effects on the economy, workers, small businesses, and unemployment, as well as the government’s response to the health and economic crisis.

Secretary Harris brings decades of experience as a teacher and scholar, attorney and advisor, corporate board member, and leader at the highest levels of the U.S. Government. He teaches Leadership in Public Affairs for Cornell graduate and undergraduate students. He has co-authored three books, including Labor and Employment Law & Economics, and authored dozens of scholarly articles and op-eds on labor, employment, leadership, government performance, retirement, and economics topics.

Secretary Harris earned a bachelor of science degree with honors from Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations and a juris doctor with honors from New York University’s School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and editor-in-chief of the Review of Law & Social Change.

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