- A fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program, the Indian American has previously served as deputy solicitor at DOL in the Obama-Biden administration.
President Joe Biden has nominated former Democratic National Committee chief executive officer and former Obama administration official, Seema Nanda, for Solicitor of the Department of Labor. She is presently a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program. The 47-year-old served as chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, and deputy solicitor at the U.S Department of Labor in the Obama-Biden administration.
Bloomberg says Biden’s move to nominate the Indian American, “comes after Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) criticized the president recently over the lack of Asian American Pacific Islander representation in the administration.” She would be the first person nominated for a DOL post to have experience at the department. Bloomberg adds that “Nanda’s familiarity with the department, assuming she earns the Senate’s blessing, could benefit Walsh [newly sworn-in Labor Secretary Marty Walsh] as he seeks to make gains on virus-response priorities, such as helping states process jobless benefits and protecting workers from on-the-job Covid-19 infection.”
As the No. 3 official at DOL, Nanda would wield considerable authority throughout the department. The Office of the Solicitor spearheads litigation under numerous labor and employment laws and advises department subagencies on regulations and policies on workplace issues such as wages, safety, and discrimination.
Last April, Nanda was replaced as DNC CEO by Mary Beth Cahill, a senior adviser to the party. Nanda, who was appointed to the post in 2018, received criticism for her lack of political experience.
Nanda joined the U.S. Department of Labor as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary in October 2013. At the Department of Labor, she worked on a myriad of issues, including employee engagement, wage and hour, fair pay, workforce development, immigration. She previously headed the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to joining OSC, she served at the National Labor Relations Board’s Division of Advice.
Nanda grew up in Connecticut and is a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School.