UW Today

May 11, 2011

Former congressional labor adviser to speak in Parrington

News and Information

Gordon Lafer

Gordon Lafer

Gordon Lafer, a former top adviser on congressional labor policy, will visit Seattle on Tuesday, May 17, to discuss the hot topics of labor law and policy. He will lecture on Labor in the House: Trying to Build a Pro-Worker Agenda in Congress from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Parrington Hall Forum (Room 309).

Controversy and debate over legislation in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states has generated a renewed public focus on the politics of labor in the United States. During the crucial first two years of the Obama administration, Lafer had an insider perspective on the formation of labor policy and regulation at the federal level. He will combine this perspective with his extensive academic study of labor policy as a professor at the University of Oregon to offer a unique, overall look at the state of labor policy in the United States.

Lafer is an assistant professor of labor studies at University of Oregons Labor and Education Research Center. He received a doctorate in political science from Yale University in 1995 and has served a wide range of roles outside of academia, including working as a specialist on economic development for the New York City mayors office, as a researcher for a building trades union in Las Vegas, and most recently as the senior labor policy adviser for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor. He is the author of the 2002 book The Job Training Charade, on the relationship between poverty reduction policy and job training, and of numerous articles on work, welfare, legislation and other political economy issues.

The event is sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center; the UW Law, Societies and Justice Program, the UW Political Science Department and the UW Sociology Department. It is free and open to the public.