People

Sharon Block photo

Sharon Block

Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program

Sharon Block was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor and Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Labor.

For twenty years, Block has held key labor policy positions across the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. Early in her career she worked as an attorney at the National Labor Relations Board, and returned to the NLRB in 2012 when she was appointed to serve as a member of the Board by President Obama. She was senior counsel to the Senate HELP committee under Senator Edward Kennedy, playing a central role in the debate over the Employee Free Choice Act. She has held senior positions in the U.S. Department of Labor throughout her career. Recently, as head of the policy office at the Department of Labor, Block hosted - with Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil and Open Societies Foundation's Ken Zimmerman - the Department's three-day symposium on the Future of Work. The symposium brought together a wide array of thought leaders to address how changes in labor markets and business models have impacts on key issues such as enforcement, labor standards, workforce development, employee benefits, and data in the U.S. and around the world.... Read more about Sharon Block

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Richard Freeman

Professor Richard B. Freeman

Faculty Co-Director, Labor and Worklife Program
Professor, Economics, Harvard University

Richard B. Freeman holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University. He is currently serving as Faculty co-Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School, and is Senior Research Fellow in Labour Markets at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic Performance. He directs the National Bureau of Economic Research / Science Engineering Workforce Projects, and is Co-Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

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Benjamin I Sachs

Professor Benjamin I. Sachs

Faculty Co-Director, Labor and Worklife Program
Professor, Harvard Law School

Benjamin Sachs is the Kestnbaum Professor of Labor and Industry at Harvard Law School and a leading expert in the field of labor law and labor relations.  Professor Sachs teaches courses in labor law, employment law, and law and social change, and his writing focuses on union organizing and unions in American politics.

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Gokhan  Aykac

Gokhan Aykac

Wertheim Fellow
Research on Economics of Science

Gokhan Aykac received his PhD in Economics from Gazi University. He is a research associate in Department of Economics, Gazi University and a post-doctoral research fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard University for the academic year 2016 – 2017 as Wertheim Fellow.... Read more about Gokhan Aykac

Erling Barth

Erling Barth

Wertheim Fellow
Research on Labor Markets

Erling Barth is Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo and Professor II at the Department of Economics, University of Oslo, affiliated with ESOP. His PhD is from the Department of Economics at the University of Oslo. He is Wertheim Fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard University, Research Economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) at Cambridge, MA, and Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labour, IZA, in Bonn.

His research interests include technological change and its effects on the labor market, the impact of labor market institutions, inequality and the wage structure, employment, the economics of the welfare state, gender wage differentials, immigration, ownership, labor mobility, and firms’ behavior.... Read more about Erling Barth

Christine Blumauer

Christine Blumauer

Clean Slate Project Manager

Christine Blumauer is the Clean Slate Project Manager at the Labor and Worklife Program. The Clean Slate Project intends to rebuild American labor law from a clean slate by bringing together a diverse group of project participants who are experts in and representative of today’s new economy and the United States’ diverse workforce. It aims at proposing new ways for ordinary Americans to organize and mobilize for economic and political justice and, as Project Manager, Christine is determined to help steer that process into the direction of bold and new ideas.... Read more about Christine Blumauer

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Jorn Boehnke

Jörn Boehnke

Senior Research Associate
Research on Retail Industry Behavior

Jörn Boehnke received his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago.  He joined the Labor and Worklife Program as a postdoctoral fellow in 2017.  He is also a research fellow at the Center for Mathematical Sciences and Applications at Harvard University.... Read more about Jörn Boehnke