Indiana State University Newsroom

Former Secretary of Labor to speak Feb. 22

February 8, 2018

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman will speak as part of the Indiana State University Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in Tilson Auditorium.

Herman is a successful businesswoman and authority on the evolving workforce and speaks about important labor issues such as unemployment, job creation, overseas competition and work-life balance.

As the former U.S. Secretary of Labor who served under the Clinton administration, Herman helps her audiences understand the current global labor picture and discusses how job training, job creation and rebuilding hard-hit sector jobs will help reenergize the American economic culture.

Born in Mobile, Ala., Herman began her career working for Catholic Charities helping young out-of-school men and women find work in the Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard.

At the age of 29, President Jimmy Carter's appointment made her the youngest director of the Women's Bureau in the history of the Labor Department. In 1992, she became the first African-American woman to serve as an assistant to the president as the director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. On May 1, 1997, Herman was sworn in as the 23rd Secretary of Labor and the first African-American ever to lead the U.S. Department of Labor. During her tenure as a member of the President's Cabinet, she also served as a valued member of the National Economic Council.

As Secretary of Labor, she focused on a prepared workforce, a secure workforce and quality workplaces. With that mandate in mind, she consolidated the department's wide array of skills development programs into a simpler, more efficient system.

Herman led the effort to institute a global child labor standard, moved people from welfare to work with dignity and launched the most aggressive unemployed youth initiative since the 1970s. Under her tenure, unemployment in the country reached a 32-year low. The nation witnessed the safest workplace record in the history of the Department of Labor.

Currently, Herman serves as chair and chief executive officer of New Ventures LLC. She has continued to lend her expertise and talent to a vast array of corporate enterprises and nonprofit organizations.

A recipient of more than 25 honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities around the country, Herman is a former trustee of her alma mater, Xavier University of Louisiana. She co-chaired the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund and was a member of the board of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Presently, she chairs the Toyota Diversity Advisory Board.

Herman is the lead director of Cummins Inc. and a member of the boards of directors of Entergy, MGM Resorts International and the Coca-Cola Company. Her nonprofit work includes serving as a Trustee for the National Urban League, a member of the Executive Board of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the president of the Dorothy I. Height Educational Foundation.

The University Speaker Series will wrap up with president of People Ink Ann Rhoads on March 28. For more information on these events, go to or call 812-237-3770.


Photo: -- Alexis Herman -- Alexis Herman

Media Contact: Jennifer Cook, assistant director of business/marketing atHulman Center, 812-237-3770 or