Patrick Pizzella

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Patrick Pizzella
Patrick Pizzella, acting secretary.jpg
United States Deputy Secretary of Labor
Assumed office
April 17, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byChris Lu
Acting United States Secretary of Labor
In office
July 20, 2019 – September 30, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byAlexander Acosta
Succeeded byEugene Scalia
Member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority
In office
November 12, 2013 – December 31, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byThomas Beck[1]
Succeeded byJames T. Abbott[2]
United States Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration and Management
In office
May 9, 2001 – January 20, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byPatricia Watkins Lattimore[3]
Succeeded byT. Michael Kerr[4]
Personal details
Born (1954-05-19) May 19, 1954 (age 65)
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)M. J. Jameson
EducationUniversity of South Carolina (BS)

Patrick Pizzella (born May 19, 1954)[5] is an American government official who has served as the United States Deputy Secretary of Labor since April 17, 2018. He was formerly a member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority appointed by President Barack Obama. He held positions in several agencies during four prior Administrations. In 2019, after the resignation of Alexander Acosta, Pizzella served as the acting United States Secretary of Labor for more than 2 months.

Early life and education[edit]

Pizzella was born on May 19, 1954.[5] He is a native of New Rochelle, New York.[6] Pizzella is a graduate of Iona Preparatory School.[6] He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina.


Pizzella worked as a political field staffer for Ronald Reagan's 1976 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, then spent four years, from 1977 to 1980, as executive director of right-to-work committees in New Mexico and Delaware.[7]

Reagan administration, 1981–1989[edit]

From 1981 to 1982, Pizzella served on the staff of the General Services Administration (GSA), and from 1983 to 1985, he was the special assistant to the Administrator of the GSA.[5] In 1985, he became special assistant to the Associate Deputy Administrator for Management and Administration at the Small Business Administration (SBA).[5] In 1986, Pizzella served as Director of Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs at the SBA.

From 1986 to 1988 he served as Administrator for Management Services, and from 1988 to 1989, he was the Deputy Under Secretary for Management, both at the United States Department of Education (nominated in September 1988, then a recess appointment in November).[8] Pizzella's stay at the Education Department was short-lived, as he and several other conservative Reagan appointees resigned in March 1989, in a move hailed by liberals as a return to "collaborative efforts between the special-interest groups and the Department of Education" following William J. Bennett's tenure.[9] However, Pizzella was not replaced, and his Senate nomination withdrawn, until September 1989.[10]

Federal Housing Finance Board[edit]

In 1989, Pizzella was recruited by HUD Director Jack F. Kemp to serve at the new Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB), created as part of the 1989 savings-and-loan bailout legislation, to oversee the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks and channel some of their profits (as much as $100 million in 1992) into housing programs. Pizzella served first as a consultant,[11] then for five years (1990–95) as the FHFB's Director of the Office of Administration, the last two years while Bill Clinton was President).[12]

Private sector, 1996–2001[edit]

Pizzella worked at Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP as director of coalitions from 1996 to 1997, and as government affairs counselor from 1998 to 2001. Though he worked for lobbyist Jack Abramoff at Preston Gates, he was not among the 21 Abramoff associates who were convicted of or pleaded guilty to wrongdoing in connection with their work.[13] During this time, he contributed to Heritage Foundation policy development on civil service reform.[14]

George W. Bush administration, 2001–09[edit]

Pizzella's official portrait during the Bush administration

After the election of George W. Bush in November 2000, Pizzella assisted the presidential transition by serving for several months as Acting Chief of Staff at the United States Office of Personnel Management.[15]

On March 6, 2001, Bush announced his nomination of Pizzella to serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration and Management at the United States Department of Labor.[16][17] His nomination was approved without a hearing by the Senate Health Committee,[18] and was confirmed by the Senate on May 9, 2001.[16][19] He served in this position until January 2009.

Pizzella was designated by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the board of directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation from January 18, 2004, to April 26, 2005.[20]


Pizzella ran his own consulting firm and was principal at Patrick Pizzella LLC, a position he held from 2009 to 2013. He was cited in an editorial by The Wall Street Journal,[21] and authored articles in the Washington Examiner,[22] The American Spectator,[23] Government Technology magazine,[24] and GCN magazine.[25]

Federal Labor Relations Authority, 2013–17[edit]

In August 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Pizzella to fill the Republican (minority party) position on the three-member Federal Labor Relations Authority;[26] he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 16, 2013.[27] Pizzella was nominated again by Obama for the same position in November 2015, for a five-year term ending July 1, 2020, but the Senate failed to act on the nomination by the time it adjourned in January 2017, and the nomination expired.[28]

On January 23, 2017, Pizzella was designated by President Donald Trump to be the Acting Chairman of the FLRA.[6][29]

United States Department of Labor[edit]

Deputy Secretary of Labor[edit]

On June 19, 2017, Trump announced his intent to nominate Pizzella to be the next United States Deputy Secretary of Labor, replacing acting Deputy Secretary Nancy Rooney.[6] On June 20, 2017, his nomination was sent to the United States Senate. After the end of the 2017 congressional session, Pizzella's nomination was re-delivered to the Senate in January 2018, and was referred to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.[30]

Cloture was invoked on Pizzella's nomination on April 11, 2018, and he was confirmed as Deputy Secretary on the following day; both the cloture and the vote on the nomination passed by 50–48 votes in the Senate.[31]

Acting Secretary of Labor[edit]

On July 12, 2019, following the resignation of Secretary Alex Acosta, Trump announced via Twitter that Pizzella would serve as acting Secretary of Labor.[32][33] Trump nominated Eugene Scalia to succeed Acosta, and he was sworn in on September 30, 2019.

Personal life[edit]

Pizzella is married to Mary Joy Jameson, former senior business development executive for Google, a senior public affairs aide in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations, now serving on the Clemson University Foundation Board.[34] They live in Alexandria, Virginia, and Pinehurst, North Carolina.


  1. ^ "Barack Obama: Presidential Nominations and Withdrawal Sent to the Senate". www.presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  2. ^ "PN921 – Nomination of James Thomas Abbott for Federal Labor Relations Authority, 115th Congress (2017–2018)". www.congress.gov. November 16, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  3. ^ "PN296 – Nomination of Pat Pizzella for Department of Labor, 107th Congress (2001–2002)". www.congress.gov. May 9, 2001. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "PN254 – Nomination of T. Michael Kerr for Department of Labor, 111th Congress (2009–2010)". www.congress.gov. May 1, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Nomination of Patrick Pizzella To Be a Deputy Under Secretary of Education". The American Presidency Project. September 23, 1988. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". whitehouse.gov. June 19, 2017. Archived from the original on July 15, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ Public Papers of the President, September 23, 1988, "Nomination of Patrick Pizzella To Be a Deputy Under Secretary of Education," 24 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1194
  8. ^ Public Papers of the President, November 23, 1988, "Digest of Other White House Announcements," 24 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1564
  9. ^ Lawrence, Jill, Associated Press, March 17, 1989, "Observers See Move Away from Ideology with Resignations"; quote is by Emily Feistritzer, director of the National Center for Education Information.
  10. ^ United Press International, September 20, 1989, "Bush appointments for Education jobs"
  11. ^ King, John, Associated Press, March 29, 1990, "New Agency the Lucrative Prize in Power Struggle"
  12. ^ Domis, Olaf de Senerpont, The American Banker, October 23, 1995, "A Quick Study"
  13. ^ Higgins, Tucker (July 12, 2019). "Incoming acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella under scrutiny for work with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff". CNBC. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  14. ^ Heritage Foundation Reports, February 1997, Chapter 6: Downsizing and Improving the Federal Civil Service, Pg. 199
  15. ^ Kamen, Al, Washington Post, March 7, 2001, "Clinton Stands Pat"
  16. ^ a b "Presidential Nomination: Patrick Pizzella". georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  17. ^ Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents, April 30, 2001, "Nominations submitted to the Senate," Pg. 675 Vol. 37 No. 17
  18. ^ Congressional Record, April 11, 2018, p. S2083.
  19. ^ U.S. Newswire, May 11, 2001, "Senate Confirms Four Labor Nominees; Chun, Combs, Lauriski and Pizzella Join Labor Staff"
  20. ^ "Patrick Pizzella Biography: FLRA". www.flra.gov/. Federal Labor Relations Authority. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  21. ^ "Bargaining Away Your Security". June 9, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2018 – via www.wsj.com.
  22. ^ The Examiner (September 1, 2011). "How to cut the budget, for real". Washingtonexaminer.com. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  23. ^ "'Card Check' — A Time to Reflect, But Not Rest | The American Spectator". Spectator.org. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  24. ^ Patrick Pizzella (December 22, 2008). "Department of Labor CIO Patrick Pizzella Talks Federal E-Government". Govtech.com. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  25. ^ GCN Staff (January 12, 2009). "Top IT issues: Patrick Pizzella, Labor Department CIO". GCN. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  26. ^ Scheiber, Noam; Thrush, Glenn (July 16, 2019). "Trump's New Top Labor Official Is Expected to Advance an Anti-Labor Agenda". The New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "U.S. Senate: Senate Floor Activity - Wednesday, October 16, 2013". www.senate.gov. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  28. ^ "PN950 - Nomination of Patrick Pizzella for Federal Labor Relations Authority, 114th Congress (2015-2016)". www.congress.gov. January 3, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Patrick Pizzella Designated Acting FLRA Chairman" (PDF). Federal Labor Relations Authority. January 25, 2017.
  30. ^ "Four Nominations Sent to the Senate Today". White House. June 20, 2017. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  31. ^ "PN1395 - Nomination of Patrick Pizzella for Department of Labor, 115th Congress (2017-2018)". www.congress.gov. April 12, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  32. ^ @realdonaldtrump (July 12, 2019). "Alex was a great Secretary of Labor and his service is truly appreciated. He will be replaced on an acting basis by Pat Pizzella, the current Deputy Secretary" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  33. ^ Kullgren, Ian (July 12, 2019). "Trump's acting Labor secretary pick feared by unions". POLITICO. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  34. ^ "Alumna joins Clemson University Foundation board | Clemson University News and Stories, South Carolina". Newsstand.clemson.edu. January 7, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Lu
United States Deputy Secretary of Labor
Preceded by
Alexander Acosta
United States Secretary of Labor

Succeeded by
Eugene Scalia