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November 5, 2008    DOL Home > OASP > Leadership   


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Assistant Secretary for Policy
Leon R. Sequeira

Leon R. Sequeira - Assistant Secretary for Policy

Leon R. Sequeira was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor on November 6, 2006. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 15, 2007.

Mr. Sequeira is a principal adviser to the Secretary on regulatory, legislative and policy issues affecting the Department and the American workforce. He leads an office of policy experts, economists, and program specialists whose analyses and evaluations help guide development of the Department’s policy and regulatory initiatives.

Mr. Sequeira also serves as the Department’s Regulatory Policy Officer pursuant to Executive Order 12866 and manages the Department’s regulatory agenda and policy consultations with the Office of Management and Budget.

Mr. Sequeira has a broad background in public policy, government, and the law. Prior to being nominated to his current position, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department. Mr. Sequeira formerly served as Legal Counsel to a member of the U.S. Senate leadership advising the Senator on a wide variety of legal and policy issues, including labor, litigation reform, immigration, and homeland security, among others. He also previously served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Rules Committee. Mr. Sequeira is well versed in all aspects of the legislative process and has drafted portions of several bills that have been signed into law.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Sequeira was an associate in a large St. Louis-based law firm where his practice focused on federal procurement law and related litigation. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University and a Juris Doctor, with honors, from George Washington University. Mr. Sequeira is admitted to the state bar in Missouri and Illinois.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy
Deborah N. Misir

Deborah Misir - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy

Deborah N. Misir is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor, providing leadership to the Department’s activities in policy analysis, the formulation of legislative proposals, program planning and evaluation, and the analysis of research bearing on the welfare of the workforce of the United States. Under the delegated authority of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, she guides and directs OASP’s components, which include the Office of Economic Policy and Analysis led by the Chief Economist of the Department of Labor, the Division of Regulatory and Programmatic Policy, and the Office of Compliance Assistance.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Misir was an attorney in the White House Counsel’s Office, and served in other roles at the Department, including Chief of Staff of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Special Assistant to the Solicitor of Labor.

Before joining Secretary Chao’s team at the Department, Ms. Misir was an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School and an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. At the Justice Department, among other things, she worked on legal policy issues related to business and employment based immigration, and served as an appellate litigator, arguing seventeen appeals and briefing cases in almost all of the federal circuit courts of appeal. She was honored with a Special Achievement Award for her work on the 9/11 legal team and as counsel to the Justice Department’s Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.

Ms. Misir graduated from the University of Chicago with a joint B.A. with honors in political science and an M.A. in the social sciences. She earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy
Suey Howe

Suey Howe - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy

Suey Howe is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy (Operations and Analysis) for the Department of Labor. Ms. Howe reports directly to the Assistant Secretary for Policy, serving as a principal policy adviser particularly in the regulatory area and developments that fall outside the traditional concerns of the Department. Ms. Howe is extensively involved in the U.S. Government’s pandemic flu planning and response efforts and has been recognized by the White House and the Department for her outstanding service in support of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. Ms. Howe is responsible for the general direction of the Offices of Compliance Assistance Policy, Regulatory and Programmatic Policy, and Economic Policy and Analysis.

Ms. Howe has a wealth of public and private sector experience. She came to the Department from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, where she was Director of the Office of Interagency Affairs. In that capacity, Ms. Howe oversaw a team of regulatory experts who reviewed existing and proposed laws and regulations for their impact on small businesses. Ms. Howe prioritized her team’s involvement in agency rulemakings, and managed development of policy recommendations and negotiation strategies designed to help federal agencies minimize their regulatory burden on small businesses. She was the senior legal and regulatory policy adviser to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy.

Ms. Howe previously served as regulatory counsel to the Senate Committee on Small Business, director of federal regulations for a national trade association representing construction contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers, and OSHA regulatory specialist for a Washington, D.C.-based law firm. Ms. Howe is admitted to the Virginia State Bar.

Ms. Howe received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from Miami University, and her Juris Doctor degree with high honors from George Mason University School of Law, where she was a member of the law review.

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