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Biography of Deputy Assistant Secretary

Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Employment and Training
U.S. Department of Labor

Photo of Brent Orrell

Orrell served as the first Director of the Department’s Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2001 to 2005. Prior to this second DOL appointment, Orrell was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and External Relations at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

In his earlier work at DOL, Orrell focused on several key aspects of the President’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative. Working with ETA, he was responsible for designing the Initiative’s first grants program to fund small faith-based and community organizations that provide workforce development services to poor and underserved communities. Orrell was the author of the Department’s Ready4Work Initiative, a three-year demonstration program to assist ex-offenders in finding employment and reduce recidivism through partnerships with faith-based and community organizations. Ready4Work served as the basis of the President’s Prisoner Re-entry Initiative that was announced in 2004. Orrell served as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives during 2007.

Before joining the Administration in 2001, the Oregon native worked in the United States Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years. Orrell graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in European History. He and his family reside in Northern Virginia.

Created: July 01, 2008