Dr. Christopher Breiseth is the Board Chair of the Frances Perkins Center and the immediate past president and CEO of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, located at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, serving in that position from 2001 to 2008. He was president of Deep Springs College in California from 1980 to 1983 and of Wilkes University from 1984 to 2001. He earned his B.A. in history at UCLA, a Masters of Literature in Modern British History from Oxford and a Ph.D. in European History from Cornell. While at Cornell, he lived at the Telluride House where Frances Perkins was a guest for the last five years of her life while she was teaching at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Together, Breiseth and Miss Perkins organized two seminars for house members, one with Henry A. Wallace, the other with James Farley. Following Miss Perkins’s death in 1965, Breiseth wrote an article, “The Frances Perkins I Knew,” which provides some of the material on Frances Perkins’s life at Telluride House for Kirstin Downey’s book, “The Woman Behind the New Deal.” The article is available on line. He also served for a year and a half in 1967 and 1968 as Chief of Policy Guidance for the Community Action Program which was part of the Office of Economic Opportunity, President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. He was married to the late Jane Morhouse Breiseth and has three daughters and three grandchildren.
This podcast episode talks about the effect Frances Perkins had on worker’s compensation and safety.