Damon Silvers

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Damon Silvers

Damon A. Silvers is the Director of Policy and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO. He joined the AFL-CIO as Associate General Counsel in 1997.

Mr. Silvers serves on a pro bono basis as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of New York. He is is also a member of the Investor Advisory Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department’s Financial Research Advisory Committee, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Standing Advisory Group and its Investor Advisory Group.

Mr. Silvers served as the Deputy Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP from 2008 to 2011. Between 2006 and 2008, Mr. Silvers served as the Chair of the Competition Subcommittee of the United States Treasury Department Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession and as a member of the United States Treasury Department Investor’s Practice Committee of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets.

He is a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Standing Advisory Group, the Financial Accounting Standards Board User Advisory Council, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Corporate Governance Task Force

Prior to working for the AFL-CIO, Mr. Silvers worked for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers, and as a law clerk at the Delaware Court of Chancery for Chancellor William T. Allen and Vice-Chancellor Bernard Balick.[1]

Silvers lives with Elissa McBride.

Education/early activism

Silvers received his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School. He received his M.B.A. with high honors from Harvard Business School and is a Baker Scholar. Mr. Silvers graduated from Harvard College in 1986, summa cum laude, and has studied history at Kings College, Cambridge University.

At Harvard, Silvers was a leader of the anti-apartheid Divestment movement, and was one of two undergraduates invited by Local 26 of the union which represented Harvard's dining hall staff to join their negotiating team in 1986. He attended Bellevue Elementary School and Open High School in Richmond, Virginia.

Harvard DSA member

In 1984 Democratic Socialists of America at Harvard boasted a membership of 15 core members, but Damon A. Silvers '86, president of the organization, says that more than 15 students sympathetic to the organization's politics participate in meetings and demonstrations.

Members of the DSA readily admit that they have members who are active in the Committee on Central America, the South African Solidarity Committee or the Third World Student Association. The result is a community of student groups who participate in electoral politics and protest on particular issues, often through legislative venues.

Like the DSA, COCA and the TWSA, many of the membership would call themselves Democrats and support Mondale. But few belong to the Democratic Club as well.

"We see ourselves as the left-wing caucus of the Democratic Party," explains Silvers. "We're simply interested in a more radical perspective than the Democratic Party," adds Kim Ladin '87 of DSA.[2]

Oversight panel


On November 14, 2008 Mr. Silvers was appointed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the majority leader of the Senate Harry Reid (following consultation with the minority leaders of Congress ) to serve on the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.[3]

Next Stage Symposium

The Next Stage Symposium Keynote address One, was given by Damon Silvers, November 13, 2009.[4]

Financial Transactions Tax conference


The Party of European Socialists organized a conference on a Financial Transaction Tax, 15 March 2010. [5]

European Socialists said that the EU could gain €200 billion a year if a financial transaction tax of 0.05% were to be implemented on all products by 2011.
The estimate, drawn up by the Party of European Socialists (PES) and launched on 15 March, would be levied on all spot (simple currency) transactions, exchange-traded and over-the-counter (privately traded) derivatives to prevent speculative bubbles from bursting again.[6]

14.00 - 16.00: Panel I: “Putting the global financial transaction tax on the global political agenda. How and why?”

Damon SILVERS, AFL-CIO, Member of the US Congressional Oversight Panel, USA[7]

Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011

Damon Silvers was one of the 158 speakers who addressed the Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011 . The Conference was hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future, [8]

Capitol Hill Briefing on FTT

“It’s really profoundly immoral to talk about things like cutting Medicare when this policy measure sits in front of us,” AFL-CIO Director of Policy, Damon Silvers told an audience of congressional staffers and others at a November 30, 2012 briefing on the financial transaction tax.

Lisa Donner, Executive Director of Americans for Financial Reform, moderated the event, which took place against a backdrop of intense debate over the so-called “fiscal cliff.” With federal tax rates at a half-century low and Washington hunting for revenue, a financial transaction tax needs to be “part of the conversation and on the table,” Donner said.[9]

Hosting Elizabeth Warren


State Senator Jamie Raskin announced a visit by Elizabeth Warren to Maryland, April 21, 2012,, to be held at the home of his friend Damon Silvers.

District 20 is the progressive Democratic heartland of Maryland so it makes sense that the sensational progressive Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, is coming to visit us here tomorrow! Please join me and true-blue Democrats from all over our community and state in giving Elizabeth Warren a rousing Maryland welcome tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, between 2:00 and 3:30 pm at the home of my friend Damon Silvers, a key force in the labor and consumer movement, in Takoma Park. We have the opportunity to give a big financial boost to Elizabeth's campaign, which is essential to holding the U.S. Senate and taking back Congress in November. Join us!
As you know, Elizabeth Warren is America's passionate champion of the struggling middle class and has proven herself time and again willing to fight against corporate fraud and the capture of government by predatory special interests. The populist thinker who came up with the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she has done more to advance the cause of consumers and workers over the last decade than anyone else in America. Imagine what she can do in the U.S. Senate seat held by Teddy Kennedy when she beats Scott Brown![10]

Midwest Academy awards

Damon Silvers, Heather Booth

When Democratic Socialists of America controlled Midwest Academy held its annual award ceremony December 12, 2012, at the Eatonville Restaurant, Washington DC, Elizabeth Warren was guest speaker.

Long time Democratic Socialists of America member Julian Bond was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award”, while another one time DSAer Mike Lux, was given a Progressive Leadership Award, as was Damon Silvers.[11]