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Ellen Golombek, Executive Director

Date appointed: 1/3/10

Senate Committee date: 1/24/11

Senate Committee hearing vote: 4-2 confirmed

Senate vote date: January 26, 2011

Senate vote: 21-14 confirmed

Salary: $146,040


"Ellen is a proven strategic thinker who has a collaborative work-style and extensive experience working with the labor and business communities,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “Her work and the work of the Department of Labor and Employment will play a key role in our effort to support those looking for or creating jobs."


Ellen Golombek has a history of accomplishments through coalition building with statewide and national organizations. She has led reorganization and restructuring efforts and developed public policy through grassroots, legislative and electoral networks.


Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Golombek as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in January 2011. Golombek brings more than 18 years of leadership and management to the 1,100-person agency that includes the Divisions of Employment and Training, Labor, Unemployment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and Oil and Public Safety.


At CDLE, Golombek brought business and labor groups together to endorse legislation supporting the performance and long-term success of Colorado’s unemployment insurance system. Under her direction, HB11-1288 passed with bipartisan support, to ensure future solvency of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, funded by employer premiums to pay unemployment insurance benefits. She brought business and labor groups together again to support the unanimous passage of a bill making it possible to bond the UI Trust Fund out of debt to the federal government and returning the fund to solvency after suffering significantly during the Great Recession.


Golombek has worked as the state director for America Votes in Colorado and served as Planned Parenthood’s Vice President for External Affairs. Golombek was the first woman elected as president of the Colorado AFL-CIO. She was also the assistant to the secretary-treasurer and director of government affairs at the Service Employees International Union.


Golombek serves as Vice Chair of the Information Technology Steering Committee, a national board which sets priorities, facilitates the sharing of best practices and educates State Department’s of Labor around technology improvements and modernization. She serves on the Executive Board of the National Association of Government Labor Officials; the Lieutenant Governor’s Education Leadership Council; the board of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies; and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Colorado Workforce Development Council.


About the Department of Labor and Employment:

The Department oversees the state’s 64 county departments of social/human services, the state’s public mental health system, Colorado’s system of services for people with developmental disabilities, the state’s juvenile corrections system and all state and veterans’ nursing homes, through more than 5,000 employees and thousands of community-based service providers. Colorado is a state-supervised, county-administered system for the traditional social services, including programs such as food stamps, disability services and child welfare services.