|Name||Thomas E. Perez|
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912, United States
|| October 07, 1961
|Contributor||U Ole Polecat|
Feb 24, 2017 11:30pm
|Info||Montgomery County Council 2002 |
Council president since December 7, 2004 and is the highest ranking Latino elected official in the State of Maryland.
Perez serves on the Council's Transportation and Environment Committee, where he is lead Councilmember on the Environment, and on the Health and Human Services Committee.
He comes to the Council from a distinguished career in public service, both in the federal government and in the community.
A graduate of Brown University, Harvard Law School, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Perez began his career as an entry-level attorney in the United States Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. As a federal prosecutor for six years, he successfully prosecuted white supremacists in Texas who went on a fatal, racially-motivated crime spree against African Americans. He also worked on combating racial profiling and closing the achievement gap at the elementary, secondary, and higher education levels.
As a senior aide to Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, he co-drafted the bill to respond to the church arson epidemic of 1996 and drafted the original hate crimes bill later passed by the United States Senate. Senator Kennedy praised Perez as "a voice for the voiceless, a coalition builder and a tireless advocate for civil rights and equal justice for all."
During the last two years of the Clinton administration, Perez was Director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services under Secretary Donna Shalala, leading a 225-person agency with a $28 million budget.
After resigning his position with the change in administration, Perez became an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Law programs at the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, a non-partisan commission of national health care policy experts concerned with enhancing access to health care for vulnerable people.
In the community, Perez was President of the Board of Directors of Casa of Maryland, Maryland's largest community-based organization serving and empowering the low-income Latino community. He served as technical advisor to the Washington Business Group on Health and to the County's Latino Health Initiative.
A first generation Dominican-American, Tom and his wife Ann Marie, who works as a public interest lawyer, live in Takoma Park with their three children, Amalia, Susana, and Rafael.
Born October 7, 1961. Brown University, A.B. (international relations & political science), 1983; Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1987; John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, M.P.P., 1987. Law clerk to Judge Zita L. Weinshienk, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, 1987-89. Admitted to Maryland Bar, 2001. Assistant Professor, 2001-06, Associate Professor, 2006-, and Director, Clinical Law Programs, University of Maryland School of Law, 2001-06. Member, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Board of Directors, Casa of Maryland, 1995-2002 (former president). Member, Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Health Professions, 2003-. Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership, Aspen Institute, 2005. Influential Marylanders in Civic Leadership, Daily Record, 2008. Completed three Boston Marathons. Married; three children.