Experts

Chris Lu

Fast Facts

  • Deputy secretary of labor in the Obama Administration
  • White House cabinet secretary and assistant to President Obama
  • Executive director, Obama-Biden Transition Project
  • Deputy chief counsel, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Areas Of Expertise

  • Domestic Affairs
  • Jobs and Economy
  • Governance
  • Congress
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

Over the course of a 20-year career in public service, Chris Lu, the Teresa A. Sullivan Practitioner Senior Fellow, worked in all three branches of the federal government, including seven years in the Obama Administration. From 2014 to 2017, Lu was the deputy secretary of labor, having been confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. In this role, he served as the chief operating officer of a department with 17,000 employees and a $12 billion budget.

From 2009 to 2013, Lu was the White House cabinet secretary and assistant to the president, serving as the president’s primary liaison to the federal agencies. At the end of the first term, Obama said: “Through his dedication and tireless efforts, Chris has overseen one of the most stable and effective cabinets in history – a cabinet that has produced extraordinary accomplishments over the past four years.” 

The son of immigrants, Lu was only the second Asian American in history to become a deputy secretary of any cabinet department. During the first term of the Obama Administration, he also co-chaired the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Prior to his service in the executive branch, Lu worked for then-Senator Obama, first as the legislative director, and then as the acting chief of staff. During the 2008 presidential primaries, Lu was tasked by Senator Obama to begin planning for a possible presidential transition. The day after Election Day 2008, Lu became the executive director of the Obama-Biden transition planning efforts.

His government experience includes eight years working for Rep. Henry Waxman as the deputy chief counsel of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and serving as a law clerk for Judge Robert E. Cowen on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Lu began his legal career as a litigation attorney at Sidley Austin.

Lu is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from MacMurray College and the Department of Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.

Lu draws on his extensive political experience as a regular television and radio commentator. He is a Democratic National Committee (DNC) "superdelegate" and sits on the Rules and Bylaws Committee. Lu co-chaired DNC Chairman Tom Perez's transition committee and was a member of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's transition committee. He is the co-editor of the book Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Congress (2014).

In addition to his role at the Miller Center, Lu is a senior strategy adviser at FiscalNote, a D.C.-based technology company. He is a board member of the American Sustainable Business Council and AAPI Progressive Action.

Chris Lu News Feed

The University’s Miller Center of Public Affairs hosted a webinar Monday night about the future of relations between the U.S. and China, arguing that the Trump administration was responsible for worsening tensions between the two countries. The webinar consisted of a panel of eight scholars and politicians. Five panelists from the Miller Center and Center for Politics at the University were joined by three panelists from the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, a partner institution of the University.
Chris Lu The Cavalier Daily
Have major recent developments in China and the United States raised the possibility that the U.S.-China relationship, which has become increasingly strained over the last 10 years, might now move in new and more positive directions? The first panel discusses the November 2020 elections in the United States, providing an analysis of the election campaigns, the electoral process, the outcomes of the elections, and the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. It will then examine the Fifth Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee in October, which discussed the foreign and domestic economic policies underlying China’s new five-year plan that will begin in 2021. The second panel analyzes the implications of these events for Chinese policy toward the U.S. and American policy toward China, assessing the prospects for both change and continuity.
Chris Lu Miller Center Presents
Chris Lu, executive director of the Obama-Biden Transition Project and a member of the Biden transition team discusses how the president-elect's team plans to move forward following the riots in D.C.
Chris Lu BNN Bloomberg
Dr. Chris Beyrer, Professor in Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, provides a coronavirus and vaccine update. Bloomberg Businessweek Editor Joel Weber and Businessweek National Correspondent Josh Green talk about the story “The Trashing of American Democracy Was Trump’s Farewell Party.” Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu discuss the Biden transition following protests in Washington. And we Drive to the Close with Walter Todd, President and CIO at Greenwood Capital.
Chris Lu Bloomberg Podcast
Chris Lu, Former Deputy Secretary of Labor and Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia Miller Center, on the Georgia Senate run-off and the GOP attempt to overthrow the election. Hosted by Paul Sweeney and Vonnie Quinn.
Chris Lu Bloomberg Radio
Senior Fellow Chris Lu is interviewed on MSNBC.
Chris Lu MSNBC