M. Patricia Smith '77 nominated as solicitor of the Department of Labor, the New York Times reports

On March 19, President Barack Obama nominated M. Patricia Smith '77 to be solicitor of the Department of Labor, the New York Times reports.

As solicitor, Smith would serve as Labor Secretary Hilda Solis' general counsel, helping shape policy, oversee litigation, and coordinate the activities of the department's wage and hour division.

Smith is currently the commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor, where she oversees an annual budget of $4 billion and 3,700 employees in 80 offices throughout the state. She also advises Governor David Paterson on workplace and labor policy. Smith recently served on President Obama's transition team as a member of the Department of Labor Review Team.

She previously spent 20 years in the labor bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office, the last 8 years there serving as bureau chief. In 1996 and 1997 she argued and won two Employment Retirement Income Security Act cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last month, President Obama nominated Seth Harris '90 to be deputy labor secretary.