Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc. . 02/2006.
CFE Appoints New Executive Director
Geri D. Palast, a legislative problem-solver with a track record of success and Washington policymaker who served during both Clinton administrations, has been appointed executive director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. Palast succeeds Michael A. Rebell, who led CFE to victory in the landmark court case CFE v. State that has earmarked billions of dollars in remedial aid for New York City schools.
The choice of Palast by the CFE board signals a strong commitment from the 13-year-old organization to vigorously pursue a legislative solution to ensure that the court victory it won under Rebell's tenure of litigation results in actual reform. Rebell, along with Joseph Wayland of Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett, will continue to defend CFE's victories against frivolous appeals and will remain involved for however long is necessary to secure full state compliance with the order of the Court of Appeals.
"Ms. Palast is a proven leader with the policymaking experience to take this campaign across the finish line. At this critical time in CFE's fight for fair funding in our schools, she will have the full force of our resources behind her to get the job done," said CFE Board Chairman Luis Miranda.
"I look forward to working with our allies in securing a political solution to CFE that results in educational opportunity for all New York's children. The State's negligent foot-dragging is unconscionable and must be stopped," said Palast.
Ms. Palast has had an illustrious career. From 1993 to 2000, she served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs during President Clinton's two terms under Labor Secretaries Robert Reich and Alexis Herman. She also served on the President's Interagency Council on Women, where she chaired the Committee on Women in the Global Economy. Palast's career highlights include founding and directing the Justice at Stake Campaign, a national organization working to ensure fair and impartial courts and serving as the Political and Legislative Director of Service Employees International Union. Most recently, Ms. Palast was Counsel to Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, directing the firm's program reaching out to institutional investors in areas of litigation, policy, and public affairs.
Throughout her career, Palast has organized and directed numerous broad-based national and grassroots legislative and issue campaigns. She founded and co-chaired the bipartisan coalition that was responsible for enacting the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act. As assistant secretary, she was a leader in the successful policy and legislative efforts to enact the minimum wage increase, the Workforce Investment Act -- the overhaul of the nation's employment and training system -- Welfare to Work, School to Work, and the historic congressional ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILO) international convention against abusive child labor. She worked on numerous pension reform legislative and regulatory matters. She has also been a strategic adviser to many electoral campaigns.
Palast is an attorney, a Root-Tilden Public Service Law Scholar from NYU School of Law, and an honors graduate of Stanford University. Palast has served on numerous boards and advisory committees and has lectured at colleges and universities. February 17, 2006