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The Honorable Alexis Herman

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Information about The Honorable Alexis Herman

Profile image of The Honorable Alexis Herman

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Cabinet Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans (Red), Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
If The Time's Not Ripe, You Have To Ripen The Times.

Birthplace

Born:
7/16/1947
Birth Location:
Mobile, Alabama

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Cabinet Appointee

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beans (Red), Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
If The Time's Not Ripe, You Have To Ripen The Times.

Birthplace

Born:
7/16/1947
Birth Location:
Mobile
See how The Honorable Alexis Herman is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The first African American to become the secretary of labor, Alexis M. Herman was born in Mobile, Alabama, on July 16, 1947. Her mother was a teacher in Mobile and her father was the first black politician elected in the South since Reconstruction. After graduating from a Catholic high school, Herman attended Xavier University in New Orleans, graduating in 1969.

Herman began her career in 1969 as a social worker for Catholic Charities, developing employment training opportunities for unemployed youth. From there, she was hired by the Department of Labor. At age twenty-nine, Herman became the youngest person to hold the position of Director of the Women's Bureau, and while there, Herman pressured Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola to hire female professionals. It was also during this time that she met future President Bill Clinton. She formed A.M. Herman & Associates in 1981, advising state and local governments on labor markets until 1989. She also later became the National Director of the Minority Women Employment Program of R-T-P, Inc., where she established programs to place minority women in white-collar and nontraditional jobs.

Returning to government service in 1989, Herman joined the Democratic National Committee as chief of staff on the suggestion of longtime friend Ron Brown, and by 1992 was the CEO of the Democratic National Convention. After Clinton's election in 1992, Herman was appointed assistant to the president and director of the White House Public Liaison Office in 1993. When Clinton was reelected, he appointed her the twenty-third secretary of labor. Her appointment was not without controversy, however, as many labor leaders did not support her. Later, Herman would be implicated in one of the improper fundraisers held at the White House. She weathered both of these storms unscathed, continuing to fight for minority and women's rights in the workplace.

Today, Herman tours the country in speaking engagements, speaking of her own entrepreneurial ventures, her time in the Department of Labor, and her grandmother's advice. She chairs the Coca-Cola Company Task Force and the Toyota Advisory Board on Diversity. She sits on the board of MGM/Mirage, Inc. and is actively involved in the National Urban League and the Ron Brown Foundation. Herman and her husband, Dr. Charles Franklin, live in Virginia.

See how The Honorable Alexis Herman is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexis Herman's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes her mother, Gloria Broadus
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman shares memories of her mother, Gloria Broadus
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman describes her father, Alex Herman
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes how her father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement shaped her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes her earliest memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes growing up in segregated Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about being raised a black Catholic
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about her father's activism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes her father's lawsuit against the Democratic Party in the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman recounts the night that her father, Alex Herman, was beaten, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recounts the night that her father, Alex Herman, was beaten, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman recounts the night that her father, Alex Herman, was beaten, pt. 3
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman talks about attending Catholic schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes experiencing segregation at the local May Day celebration
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman recalls confronting Bishop Thomas Joseph Toolen. pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman recalls confronting Bishop Thomas Joseph Toolen. pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls the reaction of friends and family after her expulsion from school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes Sister Patricia's influence on her early years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about visiting her surrogate grandmother, Margaret Dozier in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about her unwed parents
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls trying to win her parent's favor in spite of her 'illegitimate' label
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes her childhood friends
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes her personality as a child
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about race and Mardi Gras
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about her plan to become a psychiatric social worker
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about transferring to Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about her job search in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman describes working as a social worker at Catholic Charities in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls being selected as a delegate at the White House Conference on Children and Youth in 1971
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about being a delegate at the White House Conference on Children and Youth in 1971
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman talks about recruiting Ingalls Shipyard to provide employment opportunities in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes her efforts to get African Americans into the skilled trades in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman recalls Ray Marshall's offer to work on a study of black women in corporate America
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes attending Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls her classmates at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman recalls bringing black male friends to Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about Elizabeth Duncan Koontz and other Southern leaders
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman recalls the difficulty of convincing companies to interview black women
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman talks about running her employment training program for black women
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes the success of her employment training program for black women
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes forming the Minority Women's Employment Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about the many mentors who encouraged her to work in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about being nominated as the Director of the Women's Bureau in 1977
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about HistoryMaker Andrew Young
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about merging her interests in counseling and labor economics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman talks about the confirmation process to be named as the Director of the Women's Bureau in 1977
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes the Women's Bureau
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman recalls the highlights of her time as Director of the Women's Bureau
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexis Herman's interview
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls efforts to amend Title VII as Director of the Women's Bureau
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman shares the lessons she learned about crafting public policy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes the key players advocating on women's issues in the late 1970s in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about the role of race in displaced homemaker legislation
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls lessons she learned about self-interest the legislative process
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about the abrupt changes after President Jimmy Carter lost reelection
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes launching her own consulting firm
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes the client base of her consulting firm
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman describes the early contracts garnered by her consulting firm
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about researching the retention of African American women scientists at Procter and Gamble
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman describes working on corporate assimilation strategies following mergers and acquisitions for Procter and Gamble
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman recalls working on HistoryMaker Ron Brown's campaign to be chairman of the Democratic Party
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes helping HistoryMaker Ron Brown to restructure the Democratic Party
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about the Democratic Party administrative staff hired by HistoryMaker Ron Brown
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman recalls being hired as the Democratic Party Chairman Ron Brown's Chief of Staff
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman outlines the three keys to HistoryMaker Ron Brown's success as DNC Chairman
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about the Democratic Party's electoral success in 1989
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls the electoral victory celebration in 1989
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman talks about her one year commitment to being Ron Brown's Chief of Staff
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes HistoryMaker Ron Brown's unwavering commitment to electing a Democrat as President in 1992
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about being the first woman as DNC Chief of Staff
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman talks about her mother's death and Bill Clinton
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about the DNC's 1992 Presidential Election strategy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman recalls being asked to run the DNC convention
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes being the first female CEO of the Democratic National Convention
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman describes her involvement in HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson's 1988 Presidential Campaign
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexis Herman's interview
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman recalls her experience with President Jimmy Carter's administration
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes the tenuous relationship between President Jimmy Carter and the black community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about Ambassador Andrew Young's resignation
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman recalls the start of her relationship with HistoryMaker Ron Brown
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes the logistics of the 1992 Democratic National Convention, pt. 1
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes the logistics of the 1992 Democratic National Convention, pt. 2
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman talks about Bill Clinton's breakthrough as a presidential contender
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Alexis Herman describes working on Bill Clinton's Transition Planning team in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Alexis Herman reflects upon her successful management of the 1992 Democratic National Convention
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes her role during Bill Clinton's presidential transition
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman describes managing President Bill Clinton's transition in 1992
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman recalls turning down five offers to be deputy secretary in Bill Clinton's cabinet
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about Federico Pena being named Secretary of Transportation
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman talks about being appointed White House Public Liaison and her mentors help
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes being White House Public Liaison
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman talks about being President Bill Clinton's choice for Secretary of Labor
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman describes the nomination process to become President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman talks about inquiries into her business operations
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes her confirmation as Secretary of Labor
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman describes successfully handling the UPS strike as U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman describes successfully handling the UPS strike as U.S. Secretary of Labor, pt. 2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman describes her four priorities as U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Alexis Herman describes her accomplishments as U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Alexis Herman describes leaving office in 2000
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman talks about the contested 2000 Presidential Election
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Alexis Herman describes coping with the 2000 Presidential Election loss
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Alexis Herman describes her career plans following the 2000 Presidential Election
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Alexis Herman talks about her future plans
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Alexis Herman reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Alexis Herman narrates her photographs, pt.1
  • Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Alexis Herman narrates her photographs, pt. 2