Biden names choices to lead Labor, Commerce Departments

President-elect Joe Biden has named Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as Secretary of Labor and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to serve as Secretary of Commerce.

Marty Walsh
Marty Walsh (Courtesy Biden-Harris Transition)

Boston mayor chosen as Secretary of Labor, Rhode Island governor for Secretary of Commerce

President-elect Joe Biden has named his nominees for key roles in the Labor and Commerce Departments.

Biden nominated Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to serve as Secretary of Labor and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to serve as Secretary of Commerce. Additionally, he has nominated Don Graves as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Isabel Guzman as Small Business Administrator. Graves is a banker who served on President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Guzman is director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate.

Walsh is in his second term as mayor of Boston. Prior to that position, he was a legislator for the 13th Sufffolk District in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, co-chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Labor Party Caucus and co-chair for the Special Commission on Public Construction Reform. He was also president of the Laborers’ Union Local 223, joining the union at age 21. He was elected secretary-treasurer and general agent of the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, and was named to lead the union in 2011.  Walsh received his bachelor’s degree from the Woods College of Advancing Studies at Boston College.

Raimondo is in her second term as governor of Rhode Island. She previously helped found the first venture capital firm in Rhode Island, Point Judith Capital, and served for four years as the state’s General Treasurer. Raimondo received her bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University, her master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.

Graves is a longtime adviser to Biden and leads the Biden-Harris Transition’s Treasury Agency Review Team. He has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. During the Obama administration, he oversaw the multi-billion-dollar Small Business Lending Fund and State Small Business Credit Initiative, as well as the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund — and led the federal effort to revitalize Detroit in the wake of its bankruptcy. In 2016, he was tasked by Biden to oversee the Cancer Moonshot Effort. He received his B.A. degree in political science and history from Williams College and Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Guzman served during the Obama administration as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the U.S. Small Business Administration. She is a small business entrepreneur, an adviser to fellow founders and an adviser at ProAmĂ©rica Bank, the first California-chartered Latino-formed business bank to form in Los Angeles in over 35 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

“This team will help us emerge from the most inequitable economic and jobs crisis in modern history by building an economy where every American is in on the deal,” Biden said in a statement announcing the nominees. “They share my belief that the middle class built this country and that unions built the middle class. They know how to work with states, cities, small towns, and tribal communities, along with labor, entrepreneurs, and businesses to get things done for American workers.”

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