Department of Labor
Council Member: Seth D. Harris, Acting Secretary of Labor
Council Designee: Sara Manzano-Diaz, Director of the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
On September 30, 2009, Sara Manzano-Díaz was nominated by President Barack Obama and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, on February 11, 2010, as the 16th Director of the Women's Bureau at the United States Department of Labor. The Women’s Bureau was created by Congress in 1920, the same year women were granted the right to vote. It is the only federal agency exclusively mandated to serve and promote the interests of working women. Director Manzano-Díaz’ vision is to empower working women nationwide to achieve economic security.
Ms. Manzano-Díaz has spent her career in public service advocating on behalf of working class families, women, and girls. She has more than 25 years of federal, state, and judicial experience, including 16 years in senior management at the federal government level.
Previously, Ms. Manzano-Díaz was appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell as Deputy Secretary of State for Regulatory Programs at the Pennsylvania Department of State. As the highest-ranking Latina in Pennsylvania state government, Ms. Manzano-Díaz was responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public by overseeing the licensure of approximately 1 million professionals. She was also a member of Governor Rendell’s STEM Initiative Team that supports the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and workforce development programs.
From 1995 to 2002, Ms. Manzano-Díaz worked in various capacities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development including as Deputy General Counsel for Civil Rights and Litigation, where she enforced fair housing, civil rights, and anti-discrimination laws. While at HUD, she implemented a compliance agreement against the largest public housing authority in the country that resulted in the creation of 9,000 disabled housing units in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ms. Manzano-Díaz also previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in New York where she conducted investigations and prosecuted allegations of consumer fraud. She also served as a Judicial Assistant and Pro Se Attorney in the New York State Judiciary.
She served as co-chair of The Forum of Executive Women’s Mentoring Committee, which mentors young professional women as they begin their careers, and also participated in Madrinas, a program that provides mentors for at-risk Latina girls to encourage them to finish high school and attend college.
Ms. Manzano-Díaz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations and Communications from Boston University and a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University School of Law.
Council Designee: Latifa Lyles, Deputy Director of the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
Latifa Lyles is the Deputy Director of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor – the only part of the Federal government specifically tasked with improving the lives of working women. The Women's Bureau works to advance and improve standards, practices and opportunities for women in the labor force.
Ms. Lyles previously served as Vice President for Membership of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots feminist advocacy group, where she served as a principal media spokesperson on a wide range of women’s issues and oversaw the organization’s Direct Marketing program. Prior to her post at NOW, she managed the membership program at Public Justice, the nation’s largest public interest law firm which specializes in a broad range of cases from employment discrimination to consumer protection. She has served as Co-chair of the Older Women’s Economic Security Task force of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, and on the Women’s Coalition for Dignity and Diversity in Media.
Ms. Lyles has extensive, community and political organizing experience and has been working in the social justice movement for over ten years, starting with her work in 1998 as Public Policy Associate for the Older Women’s League which focusing on economic issues of mid-live and older women.