Tom Perez’s Education: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Thomas Perez addresses a summit on "creating employment opportunities for post-9/11 veterans and military families" at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce June 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Thomas Perez addresses a summit on “creating employment opportunities for post-9/11 veterans and military families” at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce June 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Tom Perez is the new chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Perez was elected chairman of the DNC during the committee’s winter meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, February 25th. He defeated Keith Ellison, representative from Minnesota.

Here’s what you need to know about Tom Perez’s education.


1. He Went to an All-Boys Catholic High School

Tom Perez speaks at the 84th annual Winter Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2016. (Getty)

Tom Perez speaks at the 84th annual Winter Meeting of The United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2016. (Getty)

Tom Perez was raised Roman Catholic, and he attended an all-boys Catholic high school.

Perez graduated in 1979 from Canisius High School, a Jesuit private high school in Buffalo, New York. He has this in common with his wife, Ann Marie Staudenmaier, who went Pius XI High School, a Catholic school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Perez remains a Catholic to this day, and he says that his faith is important to him, observing that his parents once told him, “In order to get to heaven, you have to have letters of reference from poor people,” according to The Washington Post.


2. He Graduated From Brown University

Thomas Perez speaks during a news conference April 21, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Thomas Perez speaks during a news conference April 21, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Getty)

After graduating from Canisius High School, Tom Perez enrolled in Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Perez graduated from Brown in 1983, and he studied international relations and political science, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

Tom Perez’s daughter, Amalia Perez, would later follow in her father’s footsteps, as she is a current student at Brown studying political science and developmental studies.


3. He Worked as a Trash Collector to Pay for Brown

Thomas Perez addresses the 10th annual Make Progress National Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center July 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Thomas Perez addresses the 10th annual Make Progress National Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center July 16, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Perez worked manual labor throughout his time at Brown in order to pay for the school’s tuition.

According to Brown Alumni Magazine, Perez worked as a garbage collector and at a warehouse in order to attend Brown.

In the 1980s, it cost roughly $11,000 per year to attend Brown, according to College Daily. In 2017, it costs about $68,000.


4. He Earned His Law Degree From Harvard Law School

Thomas Perez speaks during a public meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission at the United States Treasury on June 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

Thomas Perez speaks during a public meeting of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission at the United States Treasury on June 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Getty)

After graduating from Brown University, Perez was accepted into Harvard Law School.

Perez received a Master’s of Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1987, and he received a Juris Doctor cum laude, according to Harvard.


5. He Clerked For Attorney General Edwin Meese While at Harvard

Tom Perez as he arrives to address the Apprenticeship Summit at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2015. (Getty)

Tom Perez as he arrives to address the Apprenticeship Summit at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 8, 2015. (Getty)

While he was still a student at Harvard, Tom Perez clerked for the U.S. attorney general.

Perez served as a law clerk for Attorney General Edwin Meese in 1986, according to Perez’ 2012 Senate testimony.

After graduating from Harvard, Perez went to clerk for Judge Zita Weinshienk of the District Court for the District of Colorado. He later earned himself a job as federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

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