The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) announces the selection of the honorable Alexis M. Herman — esteemed workforce expert and former secretary of labor — as the keynote speaker for the World Workplace 2010 Conference & Expo. Held Oct. 27-29 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., World Workplace 2010 will bring leaders from the world’s top business and government organizations together with educators and exhibitors to focus on the future of the built environment.

Herman will deliver the conference’s keynote presentation, “The Changing Global Workforce: Ways to Understand it and Leverage It” on Wednesday, Oct. 27. She will discuss how technology and information are fueling the new economy and how increased global competition is creating a demand for high-skilled jobs and lessening demand for low-skilled work. Herman will also explore how sectors hit hard by the economic recession can boost job creation in the future, and discuss the biggest challenges employers must address to stay competitive and productive.

Herman began her career working for Catholic Charities helping the unemployed find work. At 29, President Jimmy Carter’s appointment made her the youngest director of the Women’s Bureau in the history of the U.S. Department of Labor. In 1997, she became America’s 23rd secretary of labor, appointed by President Bill Clinton. Under her tenure, the country’s unemployment reached a 30-year low and the nation witnessed the safest workplace record in the history of the Department of Labor.

Herman currently serves as chair and CEO of New Ventures LLC, a corporate consulting company. She chairs the Toyota Diversity Advisory Board and the Sodexho Business Advisory Board, and is a member of the boards of directors of The Coca-Cola Company, MGM Mirage, Entergy and Cummins. She is a recipient of more than 20 honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities around the United States.

In addition to Herman, World Workplace 2010 will feature a selection of power speakers in place of a traditional closing keynote presentation. World Workplace power speakers will speak on topics outlined in the conference’s educational tracks and will complement the 80 educational sessions offered.