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

Voters across the country are heading to the polls, but there’s a lot of attention on the big races in states like Mississippi, Kentucky, and Virginia that could reveal how voters feel about President Trump. NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, former White House Cabinet Secretary under President Obama Chris Lu, and New York Times Reporter Jeremy Peters join Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the politics of impeachment.
Chris Lu MSNBC
Senior Fellow Chris Lu is interviewed on MSNBC.
Chris Lu MSNBC
Senior Fellow Chris Lu is interviewed on MSNBC.
Chris Lu MSNBC
Chris Lu, the former deputy secretary of labor for President Barack Obama, tweeted that Trump had "reached a new low and is making up fake numbers."
Chris Lu USA Today
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu talks about the solid jobs report. Visa CEO Al Kelly breaks down the state of the economy and the health of the consumer. Bloomberg News Bond Reporter Alex Harris and Bloomberg Economics Senior U.S. Economics Senior U.S. Economist Yelena Shulyatyeva provide more insight into jobs data. And we Drive to the Close with Melda Mergen, Deputy Global Head of Equities at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. Hosts: Carol Massar and Jason Kelly. Producer: Doni Holloway.
Chris Lu Bloomberg
Chris Lu, the White House Cabinet Secretary for President Barack Obama, noted that Vindman was wounded in Iraq. "When the facts are on your side, argue the facts," Lu tweeted. "When the facts aren’t on your side, argue about process. When a decorated Iraq War vet wounded in an IED attack delivers devastating testimony, question his loyalty to the country. This is what the GOP has been reduced to."
Chris Lu USA Today