Obama Makes Assistant Labor Secretary, EBSA Nomination

March 26, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday nominated Phyllis C. Borzi for the position of Assistant Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security, to head the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

According to the White House announcement, Borzi is currently a research professor in the Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University Medical Center, where she is involved in research and policy analysis involving employee benefit plans, the uninsured, managed care, and legal barriers to the development of health information technology.

In addition, she is of counsel with the Washington, D.C. law firm of O’Donoghue & O’Donoghue, LLP where she specializes in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other legal areas affecting employee benefit plans, including pensions and retirement savings, health plans, and discrimination based on age or disability.

Until January 1995, Borzi served as pension and employee benefit counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Labor-Management Relations of the Committee on Education and Labor, the announcement said. She was on the Committee staff for 16 years. In 1993, in connection with the Presidential Task Force on Health Care Reform, chaired by former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Borzi served on working groups dealing with insurance reform, workers’ compensation and employer coverage.

Borzi is a charter member and a former President of the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, having served as a member of its Board of Governors from 2000-2008. Borzi is also a current member of the Advisory Board of the BNA Pension & Benefits Reporter (and a former co-chair of the Board) and a former member of the Advisory Committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Pension Research Council, The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Board of the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER).

If confirmed, Borzi will replace Assistant Secretary Bradford P. Campbell who was appointed to the post in August 2007.

align="left">An issue brief prepared by Borzi for the Kaiser Family Foundation provides an overview of stand-alone Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) trusts, through which employers have been able shed future obligations to pay retiree health benefits in exchange for making a significant payment to designed to approximate the projected cost of these benefits. The paper include three case studies, including the VEBAs at the Big Three automakers (see Big Three VEBA Board Chair Named as Trust is Implemented , Total Benefits: Viva VEBA ).

align="left">The paper, "Retiree Health VEBAs: A New Twist On An Old Paradigm Implications for Retirees, Unions and Employers" is available at http://www.kff.org/medicare/upload/7865.pdf .

align="left">A list of additional Borzi research publications on benefits topics is available here .