President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston, as his labor secretary.
As Secretary of Labor, Walsh will be a member of the president's cabinet. He will be responsible for leading the labor department's efforts to promote the welfare of wage earners, job seekers, and retirees across the U.S., including administering and enforcing a wide range of labor laws.
A Democrat and Boston native, Walsh was elected mayor of Boston in 2013 and re-elected to a second term in 2017. In his first term as mayor, Walsh is credited with adding more than 70,000 jobs and taking major steps to improve the public school system.
Prior to becoming Boston's mayor, Walsh was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1997 until 2014. In this position, he served as Chairman of the Committee on Ethics and as a Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus. Before his election as mayor, Walsh was president of the Laborers' Union Local 223 and the head of the Boston Building Trades.
Walsh is viewed by many Democrats as a strong choice for labor secretary because of his extensive experience and relationships with labor unions. Walsh would be the first labor secretary in nearly 50 years who was also a union member. However, Biden's selection of Walsh, a white man, has drawn attention to what some see as a potential lack of diversity in the cabinet.
Early Career and Education
Before public office, Walsh was a member of Laborers' Union Local 223. As a child, he survived a serious case of Burkitt lymphoma. Walsh has been forthcoming publicly about his early struggles with and recovery from alcoholism.
Walsh received a bachelors degree in political science from Boston College's Woods School of Advancing Studies in 2009.