Deputy Executive Director

(202) 869-3287
Washington, D.C.

Areas of Expertise

Economic and Workforce Development, Enforcement of Workplace Standards, Immigrants and...


Rajesh D. Nayak has been NELP’s deputy executive director since October 2017. He rejoined NELP in January 2017 as research director after spending seven years serving in senior roles in the Obama administration’s Department of Labor, most recently as deputy chief of staff to Secretary Tom Perez.

As deputy executive director of NELP, Raj oversees the organization’s day-to-day work. He has also helped lead the organization’s executive management team through its restructuring process.

Raj previously served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Labor for seven years. As deputy chief of staff, Raj advised the Secretary on the department’s workforce development, worker protection, and counter-trafficking efforts, and led the Department’s employee engagement and innovation efforts. As deputy assistant secretary for policy, he managed the department’s ambitious regulatory agenda, helping to enact landmark rules advancing workers’ rights to overtime pay, health and safety, and retirement security. As senior counsel to the Solicitor of Labor, Raj helped overhaul the department’s enforcement of workplace protections and coordination with state regulatory agencies.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Raj worked as an attorney with NELP and with the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. He has also worked as an Equal Justice Works fellowship at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago. In all of these roles, he sought to identify opportunities for lawyers to partner with community organizers to give voice to working families in the development of policy.


J.D., Yale Law School

A.B., University of Chicago

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