Enforcing Global Labor Rights in 2022
M-POWER and Other Tools
Join DC LERA for a conversation with Thea Lee, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs of the U.S. Department of Labor, moderated by DC LERA Board Member Jeff Wheeler, about U.S. international labor policy and enforcing labor rights through M-POWER and other tools
Thea M. Lee, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor
Thea Lee was named Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs on May 10, 2021. She has been advocating for workers’ rights, both domestically and internationally, for over thirty years. She was president of the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive pro-worker Washington think tank, from January 2018 to May 2021 and an international trade economist at EPI in the 1990s. From 1997 to 2017, Lee worked at the AFL-CIO, a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women. At the AFL-CIO, she served as deputy chief of staff, policy director, and chief international economist. Lee has served on the State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, the Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee, and on the Boards of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, the Center for International Policy, and the Coalition on Human Needs, among others. She served on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission from 2018 to 2020. She currently serves on the boards of the National Women’s Law Center, as well as the national advisory board of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.
Lee holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a bachelor’s degree in economics cum laude from Smith College.
Jeffrey Wheeler, Director, Global Trace Protocol project
Jeff Wheeler is the Director of the Global Trace Protocol project, implemented by ELEVATE to reduced child and forced labor in global supply chains, with a focus on cotton in Pakistan and cobalt in the DRC (Funded by ILAB). He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in the International Business Diplomacy program and serves on the DCLERA board. In prior roles, he served as the Senior Labor Advisor at USAID, an International Relations Officer at ILAB, and president of AFGE Local 12 of DOL, among other roles.
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