Benefits Insights, Winter 2018
The Trump Administration has reportedly chosen Craig E. Leen to serve as senior advisor to Secretary of Labor Acosta, perhaps as the next director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The Miami Herald first reported that Leen was leaving his current post as Coral Gables City Attorney to pursue what Leen called “his political post, approved by the White House, as overseeing compliance rules for government contractors.”
A graduate of Columbia Law School, Leen began his career working as a clerk for the late Honorable Robert E. Keeton, U.S. District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. Before becoming Coral Gables’ city attorney in 2011, Leen worked for the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office, serving as chief of the appeals section, and later, as chief of the federal litigation section. During his time as the city’s top attorney, Leen “gained national attention for Coral Gables and its propensity to sue high-profile corporations and use the city’s legal muscle to pursue critics,” according to the Herald.
It appears that Leen and Acosta may have forged a mutual respect at Florida International University, where Acosta served as the dean of the College of Law and Leen taught as a part-time adjunct professor. During an interview, Leen indicated that Secretary Acosta contacted him directly to request that he take a position in Washington, D.C.
Currently little is known about Leen’s position on OFCCP regulations, practices and policies or what direction he would take for the agency. The Department of Labor has not yet announced Leen’s appointment, which comes over a year after the previous OFCCP director, Patricia A. Shiu, stepped down. If confirmed, Leen would replace Thomas M. Dowd, who has been OFCCP’s acting director since November 2016.