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Former DNC chair, U.S. labor secretary Perez joins Venable in D.C.

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DNC chair Tom Perez addresses attendees at the 2020 presidential Democratic candidates debate in Detroit. July 31, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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(Reuters) - Venable has hired Thomas Perez, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, as a Washington, D.C.-based partner, the firm said Thursday.

Prior to his election as DNC chair in 2017, Perez served as U.S. labor secretary and assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Obama administration. He didn't seek another term as DNC chair and served until January of this year.

"Tom is extremely well respected nationwide for his deep knowledge and successful track record on public policy issues at every level of government," Stu Ingis, Venable's chairman, said in a statement. "He has served as a trusted adviser to many of our country’s leaders and been at the center of issues impacting American businesses and their employees."

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He has also held several other federal and state government positions, including as secretary of Maryland's labor, licensing and regulation department.

Perez told The New York Times in February that he was "strongly considering" running for Maryland governor in 2022. A Venable representative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about Perez's political ambitions now that he's joined the partnership.

At the DNC, Perez "oversaw the rebuilding of the organization’s infrastructure and implementation of vital reforms, enabling the party to secure critical victories at the local, state, and national levels," Venable's announcement said. Perez had beat out Keith Ellison - then a U.S. Representative and now Minnesota's attorney general - for the chairman role in 2017.

In his role as labor secretary, Perez was a member of Obama's economic team and led a "top-to-bottom transformation" of the U.S. Department of Labor, the Washington, D.C.-based firm said.

Perez, in a statement, said he looks forward to joining the firm, which on its website says it has more than 850 professionals.

“I have dedicated my career to fair and effective law enforcement and enacting meaningful changes on public policy issues,” he said. “Venable’s attorneys are at the forefront of helping clients navigate dynamic regulatory, policy, and labor and employment issues.”

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com

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