ANNAPOLIS - Governor Martin O'Malley today announced nominations for two Cabinet Secretaries: Dr. James Earl Lyons, Sr. to be Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission and Thomas Perez to be Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.
"I am proud to announce Dr. James Lyons and Tom Perez as my newest Cabinet nominees," Governor O'Malley said. "As experts in higher education and labor relations, James and Tom will keep college education affordable and promote and protect Maryland's workforce."
Dr. Lyons is in his eighth year as President of California State University, Dominguez Hills. A university president since 1983, Lyons has served as President of Jackson State University in Mississippi and Bowie State University in Maryland. In addition to his work in higher education he currently serves as chair of the Accountability Review Council, whose responsibility it is to report annually to the people of Philadelphia, whether public school reform is meeting its goals. He also served in Ecuador as a member of the Peace Corps.
"It is an honor to return to Maryland and serve under Governor O'Malley," said Dr. Lyons. "I share the vision of a state where working families can afford quality higher education, and I will work with the Governor's staff to bring opportunity to every corner of the state."
"As the president of Cal State Dominguez Hills, Jim Lyons has built a strong foundation of community support, academic excellence and student diversity that will serve him well in working with Maryland's colleges and universities," said California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "His leadership, passion and connection with students is what makes Jim such a presence on campus, and no doubt he will bring those qualities to his new position in Maryland. I congratulate Governor O'Malley."
Dr. Lyons received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, and attended post-doctoral study at Harvard University's Institute for Education Management.
He currently resides in Carson, California with his wife Jocelyn. The Lyons' have three married sons, and four grandchildren.
Thomas Perez has served as a member of the Montgomery County Council since 2002, and as its President from December 2004-December 2005. A nationally-recognized civil rights lawyer, health lawyer, and consumer advocate, Perez is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Law School. Previously, Perez was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the U. S. Department of Justice.
"I'm thrilled and very humbled at the opportunity to work with Governor O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Brown to implement an agenda that will help out Marylanders," Perez said. "I will protect workers, promote workforce development, and strengthen the agency to respond to Maryland's changing business climate."
Perez received his B.A. from Brown University, his M.P.P. from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Perez is an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership, and a member of both the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and the Sullivan Commission on Diversity in the Health Professions. Perez lives in Montgomery County with his wife and three children.
Source: Governor O'Malley's Office