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Secretaries of L&I


Robert S. Barnett

Photo of Robert S. Barnett
Robert S. Barnett received a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in 1974 and graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1977. In 1990, he completed the program for senior managers at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In 1988, he served as Deputy Secretary for Administration at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. In 1989, he was named Executive Deputy Secretary and served until January 1991. Barnett served Governor Robert Casey’s administration in a number of special projects and assignments, including overseeing the Governor’s successful re-election campaign in Southeastern Pennsylvania and helping to plan the transition for the second term.
Before his appointment as acting secretary for Labor and Industry, he served as White House liaison and top Clinton appointee at the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) in Washington, DC. OPIC is an independent government agency which promotes overseas investment through loans, loan guarantees and insurance. He also acted as the White House Liaison to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Barnett was nominated on March 9, 1994 to replace Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Thomas Foley, who resigned on February 11, 1994 to run for lieutenant governor.
From a news release from Office of the Gov., March 9, 1994 and from Labor-Management Network, vol. 6, no. 1, spring 1994.