José A. Lira, Director of the Office of Small Business Programs
|José (Joe) Lira, Director|
José A. Lira was selected Director of the Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) as a career member in the Senior Executive Service in April 2003. OSBP administers programs to ensure the Department of Labor's procurement opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. OSBP serves as the Department's Ombudsman for small businesses under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA), and is responsible for overseeing presidential orders related to Minority Colleges and Universities.
Lira serves as the Department of Labor's representative to the Foreign Service Impasse Disputes Panel (FSIDP) of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. His leadership development includes certificates from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government; Federal Executive Institute Center for Executive Leadership; Western Management Development Center and the Center for Public Policy Education of the Brookings Institution. Lira has also been the recipient of DOL's Executive Performance Award presented to him by Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Prior to his appointment, Lira served as President of Lira & Associates, a Texas-based business development, consulting and marketing group providing assistance and counsel to minority-owned small businesses. From 1990 to 1993, Lira was appointed as the National Director of the U.S. Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). He previously was the National Administrator of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout his professional career, Lira has been an active spokesperson on Hispanic and minority business and community development affairs. He has addressed national economic development conferences throughout the U.S.; testified before the White House Conference on Small Business; and appeared in various minority magazines (such as Hispanic Magazine, Hispanic Business, Minority Business Entrepreneur, and Minority Business News U.S.A.) and live television broadcasts on Telemundo and Univision.
Lira has received numerous public service awards from Federal agencies, business associations, and community service organizations. He has also been previously recognized for his minority business and community leadership by governors and mayors in Indiana, Missouri, Texas, and other municipal jurisdictions across the country.
In 1992, Lira successfully co-led a historic minority business trade mission to Mexico where U.S. minority entrepreneurs met with the President of Mexico in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business both in 1980 and 1995.
Born in Laredo, Texas, Lira was reared in East Chicago, Indiana. He is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Business in Bloomington, Indiana.