The Francis Perkins Center celebrates the achievements of “the woman behind the New Deal”

About This Project

Frances Perkins,
The Francis Perkins Center celebrates the
achievements of “the woman behind the New Deal”
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
The Great Hall of the Frances Perkins Building
U.S. Department of Labor

Hilda Solis, Secretary of State, was born in Los Angeles, California to
immigrant parents, Secretary Solis was instilled the values of hard work
and education by her family early in life. She attended local public schools
before being accepted to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
as part of the Educational Opportunity Program. She was the first in her
family to attend and graduate from college with a Bachelor of Arts in
political science. She later earned a Masters of Public Administration
degree from the University of Southern California. From 2001 to 2009,
Secretary Solis served in the U.S. House of Representatives, where her
priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting
the environment, and improving the overall quality of life for working
families. Secretary Hilda L. Solis was confirmed as the 25th United States
Secretary of Labor on February 24, 2009, thus becoming the first Hispanic
Secretary of Labor.

Kirstin Downey, an award-winning journalist at the Washington Post from
1988 to 2008, is a business reporter whose work has focused on
illuminating the human implications of important financial trends,
particularly boom and bust cycles in the modern economy. Downey left the
Washington Post in 2008 to finish The Woman Behind the New Deal, a book
she had spent nine years researching. Her goal was to look to history to see
how a heroine of the past, Frances Perkins, had helped the country deal
with financial calamity and how, exactly, Perkins had created the social
safety net that will minimize the damage to Americans today.

Dr. Christopher N. Breiseth is the immediate past president and CEO of the
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, located at the FDR Presidential
Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, serving in that position
from 2001 to 2008. He was president of Deep Springs College in California
from 1980 to 1983 and of Wilkes University from 1984 to 2001. He earned
his B.A. in history at UCLA, a Masters of Literature in Modern British
History from Oxford and a Ph.D. in European History from Cornell. While
at Cornell, he lived at the Telluride House where Frances Perkins was a
guest for the last five years of her life while she was teaching at the School
of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Barbara Burt is the first executive director of the Frances Perkins Center.
She is a graduate of Boston University and Harvard University. An
advocate for responsive government, she joined Common Cause in 2003,
eventually becoming vice president and director of national election reform
programs. In 2007 and 2008, she worked on Congresswoman Chellie
Pingree’s successful campaign to represent Maine’s 1st Congressional

Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall is Frances Perkins’ grandson, son of her
daughter Susanna and her husband, Calvert Coggeshall, an abstract
expressionist painter and designer. He graduated from Middlesex School
in Concord, Massachusetts, and the University of Maine. Sirice then, he has
worked in publishing and marketing, mostly in the alternative energy
field, focused on hydrogen and clean energy.

The Legacy of Frances Perkins at the
Department of Labor
Secretary Hilda Solis
First Female Cabinet Secretary
Kirstin Downey
The Frances Perkins I Knew
Dr. Christopher Breiseth
Creating a Center to Carry on Her Commiånent
Barbara Burt
My Grandmother, Frances Perkins
Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall
Please join us at a reception in support of
the Frances Perkins Center at
The Woman’s National Democratic Club
1526 New Hampshire Ave. NW
6:00 — 7:30 PM this evening
(suggested contribution: $50)
Sponsors: AFL-CIO , National Consumers League

Shining a light on Frances Perkins' legacyFinally getting her due