Pittsburgh -- Former U.S. labor secretary Robert B. Reich, one of America's foremost thinkers on work and the economy, will speak on Wednesday, Jan. 13, as part of the Robert Morris University Pittsburgh Speakers Series. His talk begins at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall in the downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District.
Reich is professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he was university professor at Brandeis University, and professor of social and economic policy at Brandeis's Heller Graduate School. Before joining UC-Berkeley and Brandeis, Reich served as the nation's 22nd secretary of labor during President Clinton's first term and directed Clinton’s economic transition team at the start of the administration. Under Reich's leadership, the Labor Department moved forward on several path-breaking initiatives to build the skills of American workers, cracked down on unsafe worksites and on fraudulent purveyors of pensions and health insurance, and began a national initiative to abolish sweatshops. As secretary he also oversaw the enactment of the Retirement Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the first increase in the minimum wage since 1989. Reich served as an economic advisor to President Obama's transition team.
Before heading the Labor Department, Reich was a member of the faculty of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He served as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Ford Administration where he represented the United States before the Supreme Court, and he headed the policy planning staff of the Federal Trade Commission in the Carter Administration.
Reich is the author of 11 books including "The Work of Nations," which has been translated into 22 languages, the best-seller Locked in the Cabinet, published by Alfred Knopf, and "The Future of Success," which in 2002 was ranked by BusinessWeek magazine as the #2 best-selling business book. His recent book "Reason" describes what America can do to achieve both high growth and widespread prosperity. His latest book is titled "Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life." He has written more than 200 articles on the global economy, the changing nature of work and the centrality of human capital. He is a consultant to many governments and corporations.
Reich’s commentaries are heard weekly on public radio by nearly 5 million people, and his columns appear regularly in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and other major national newspapers. He is co-founder of and contributing editor for The American Prospect magazine, and is a regular economic commentator on CNBC.
In late 2003 professor Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclev Havel Prize, in Prague, for his original contributions to world thinking and culture.
In 2004, he was named one of America’s three most influential opinion leaders on business and the economy, based on a study by Accenture. He is also an accomplished playwright. In summer of 2005, his new play, Public Exposure, broke box office records at its world premiere on Cape Cod.