Richard L. Trumka, Chairman
Mr. Trumka was elected President of the AFL-CIO in September 2009. He had served as the AFL’s Secretary-Treasurer since 1995. In 1982, he was elected President of the United Mine Workers.
Julianne Malveaux, Secretary Treasurer
Dr. Malveaux is President Emerita of Bennett College, where she served as the 15th President. She has worked as an economist, author, and commentator and is now the founder of Last Word Productions. She is an outspoken activist for issues surrounding race, culture, gender, and their economic impacts.
The Bauman Foundation
Gary D. Bass became the executive director of the Bauman Foundation in July, 2011. In 1983, he founded OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that promotes greater government accountability and transparency and increased citizen participation in public policy decisions, and directed it until moving to the Bauman Foundation. In addition to his role at the Bauman Foundation, Bass is an affiliated professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, where he teaches about nonprofit advocacy and social change. Bass received a combined doctorate in psychology and education from The University of Michigan.
Barry Bluestone (board member emeritus)
Dr. Bluestone is currently the Director for the Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University in Boston. He has served as a member of the senior policy staff of Congressman Richard Gephardt. Among his many accomplishments he was the Founding Director of U.Mass.-Boston’s Ph.D. Program in Public Policy. (EPI publications by Barry Bluestone.)
R. Thomas Buffenbarger
International Association of Machinists & Allied Workers (IAMAW)
Mr. Buffenbarger currently serves as the President for the International Association of Machinists. When he was 20 years old he was elected for his first leadership position within IAM as a steward of his apprenticeship group. Ever since then he has worked his way up to the Presidency of the organization, learning from the leaders he closely worked with for many years.
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Serving as the fourth President in the history of the Communications Workers of America’s union, Mr. Cohen has implemented and spearheaded movements that have lead to help workers gain union representation in various sectors. He has also expanded the union’s membership mobilization program to create a network of union stewards.
Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán
Héctor R. Cordero-Guzmán is a professor at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is also a professor in the Ph.D. programs in sociology and in urban education at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center. Prior to joining the School of Public Affairs at CUNY, Cordero-Guzman was a program officer in the Economic Development and the Quality Employment units of the Asset Building and Community Development Program at the Ford Foundation. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Ernesto J. Cortes, Jr.
Industrial Areas Foundation
As a member for the National Executive Team of The Industrial Areas Foundations Mr. Cortéz has been the recipient of the 4th Annual Heinz Award for his work in Public Policy to make government more responsive by increasing citizen participation in the political process at the community level. His early commitment to community organizing led him to work with Cesar Chavez and the farm worker’s movement among others.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
Keith Ellison has represented the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives since taking office on Jan. 4, 2007. Ellison’s roots as a community activist and his message of inclusivity through democratic participation resonate throughout his district. His priorities in Congress are: promoting peace, prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability, and civil and human rights. He sits on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Democratic Steering Committee, which determines the party’s platform and committee assignments.
Economic Policy Institute
Mr. Faux is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute. As the founder of EPI in 1986, Mr. Faux has been credited with making EPI the country’s leading think-tank on the political and economic issues facing American workers. He has also worked as an economist for the Departments of State and Labor and Commerce. (EPI publications by Jeff Faux.)
Leo W. Gerard
United Steelworkers of America (USWA)
Mr. Gerard is the President for the United Steelworkers of America. In his first full term he increased membership by sixty percent. The union has strengthened workers’ bargaining leverage by forging strategic alliances with unions worldwide.
The New School for Social Research
Professor Teresa Ghilarducci is the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Chair of Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. Her 2008 book, When I’m Sixty Four: The Plot against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them (Princeton University Press) investigates the effect of pension losses on older Americans and how to stop them. Ghilarducci’s current two year project, “Beyond the 401(k): Guaranteeing Retirement Security,” is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. She is a trustee for two Retiree Health Care Trusts: one for the UAW retirees at GM, Ford, and Chrysler and the other for Steelworker retirees at Goodyear. In 2007, Ghilarducci served on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Public Employee Post-Employment Benefits Commission. Ghilarducci was appointed by Indiana’s Governor to serve as a trustee for the Public Employee Retirement Fund in Indiana from 1997–2002 and President Clinton appointed her twice to serve on the PBGC’s Advisory Board (1996- 2001). She was the Wurf fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School from 2007–2009. (EPI publications by Teresa Ghilarducci.)
Jacob S. Hacker is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University, and a resident fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies. He is also a fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., and a former junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows. An expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy, he is author of several books about economic insecurity and the need for health care reform. He has published articles in a wide range of academic and consumer publications, including the American Political Science Review, the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Prospect, the New Republic, and the New York Times. Hacker is also the author of a 2007 proposal for universal health care, Health Care for America, that became a template for several presidential candidates’ plans for health care reform. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1994, and a doctorate from Yale University in 2000.
Joseph T. Hansen
United Food and Commercial Workers
Joseph T. Hansen, international president of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has worked as a union activist for four decades, organizing workers to win middle-class wages, benefits, and respect on the job. Hansen began his career as a meat cutter in Milwaukee, while also serving as a volunteer organizer for his local union. He was elected to serve as UFCW’s international secretary-treasurer in 1997 and international president in 2004.
Mary Kay Henry
Service Employees International Union
Mary Kay Henry is president of Service Employees International Union, where she has worked since 1979. She was elected to the SEIU International Executive Board in 1996 and in 2004 she was elected to the role of SEIU international executive vice president, where she led efforts to build a stronger voice for health care workers. Henry is a member of the executive board of Families USA, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Alexis Herman was the first African American to become the Secretary of Labor, serving during President Bill Clinton’s second term. In 1989, Herman joined the Democratic National Committee as chief of staff and by 1992 was the CEO of the Democratic National Convention. After Clinton’s election in 1992, Herman was appointed assistant to the president and director of the White House Public Liaison Office in 1993.
Robert Johnson serves on the Boards of the Democracy Alliance, The Institute for Americas Future, and the Brennan Center for Justice. He was formerly a partner in Impact Artist Management and President of Bottled MaJic Music, a recording label and music publishing enterprise. Dr. Johnson served as a managing director of Soros Fund Management; he’s also worked as Chief Economist for the Senate Banking and Budget Committees.
United Auto Workers
Bob King, the current president and a previous vice president of United Auto Workers, played a major role in negotiating both UAW’s national agreement with Ford in 2007 as well as the 2009 modifications to that agreement. He also spent three terms as a UAW regional director. King has a long history of promoting social and economic justice and solidarity among workers. He joined UAW Local 600 in 1970 when he was hired at Ford’s Detroit Parts Depot, and began his electrical apprenticeship in 1972. King has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Detroit.
Robert Kuttner (board member emeritus)
The American Prospect
Mr. Kuttner is the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and regularly writes on political and economic issues. He is also a co-founder of the Economic Policy Institute. In 1996 he was the winner of the Paul Hoffman Award for Human Development of the United Nations, for his work on the relationship of economic efficiency to social equality. (EPI publications by Robert Kuttner.)
Wilma B. Liebman served as Chair of the National Labor Relations Board from Jan. 20, 2009 to Aug. 27, 2011, when her third NLRB term expired. Liebman was first appointed as a Member of the NLRB by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to a five-year term that expired on Dec. 16, 2002. She was reappointed by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate to a second term that expired on Aug. 27, 2006. Prior to joining the NLRB, Ms. Liebman served for two years as Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Prior to joining FMCS in Jan. 1994, Liebman was Labor Counsel for the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen from 1990 through 1993. She served as Legal Counsel to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for nine years and as staff attorney with the NLRB from 1974 to 1980. She is a fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, the American Law Institute, and past elected member of the Executive Board of the Industrial Relations Research Association.
Lisa M. Lynch
Lisa M. Lynch is dean and the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Lynch served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor from 1995 to 1997 and has been a faculty member at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, the Sloan School of Management at MIT, Ohio State University, and the University of Bristol. She has published extensively on how young adults transition from school to work, the returns to public and private investments in training in the United States and in other countries, and the role of organizational innovation for productivity and wages.
Ray Marshall (board member emeritus)
University of Texas, Austin
Dr. Marshall has served in two Presidential administrations. First for President Carter as U.S. Secretary of Labor and for President Clinton as a member of the National Skills Standard Board and the Advisory Commission on Labor Development. He has taught at the LBJ School of Public affairs and served as President for the International Labor Rights Fund. (EPI publications by Ray Marshall.)
Economic Policy Institute
Dr. Mishel is the current President of the Economic Policy Institute. He has contributed to building EPI’s research capabilities and reputation. He is often called upon by members of Congress to provide briefings and testimony on economic issues.(EPI publications by Lawrence Mishel.)
National Partnership for Women and Families
Debra L. Ness is the President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Before assuming her current role, she served as Executive Vice President for 13 years. Ness has played a leading role in positioning the organization as a powerful and effective advocate for today’s women and families.
New York University
Pedro Noguera, PhD, is a professor in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. He is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). (EPI publications by Pedro Noguera.)
University of Southern California
Manuel Pastor is currently a Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership.(EPI publications by Manuel Pastor.)
Robert B. Reich (board member emeritus)
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Reich is co-founding editor of the magazine The American Prospect. He served as the 22nd U.S. Secretary of Labor where he implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act, led a national fight against sweatshops in the U.S. and illegal child labor worldwide. Under his leadership the Department of Labor won more than 30 awards for innovation. (EPI publications by Robert Reich.)
Global Policy Solutions
Maya Rockeymoore is president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions, a Washington, D.C.-based policy firm that makes policy work for people and their environments. A former adjunct professor in the Women in Politics Institute at American University, Rockeymoore has held senior research posts at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and National Urban League, served as chief of staff to Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) , as professional staff on the House Ways and Means Committee, and as a CBCF legislative fellow in the office of Congressman Melvin Watt (D-N.C.) among other positions. She is the author of The Political Action Handbook: A How to Guide for the Hip-Hop Generation and co-editor of Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America among many other articles and chapters.
Dennis Van Roekel
National Education Association
Dennis Van Roekel is president of the National Education Association (NEA), which represents more than 3 million public school employees. As NEA president, he leads the nation’s largest labor union and advocate for quality public schools. A recognized leader on education issues, he is a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission, which is tasked with studying, and recommending solutions to, inequitable school finance systems and their effect on student achievement. Van Roekel has also testified before Congress on Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization and federal education policy, ensuring the voices of educators are at the forefront of critical decision-making. He also serves on leading boards, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Executive Committee and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Executive Board. A longtime activist for children and public education, Van Roekel taught high school mathematics in Phoenix for 23 years.
Alejandro Ruelas is cofounder, chief marketing officer, and managing partner of LatinWorks, an advertising agency specializing in cultural branding, headquartered in Austin, Texas. Ruelas had an accomplished 18-year career in the beverage industry, including 13 years at Anheuser-Busch, where he rose through the ranks to lead multicultural marketing for the United States and Puerto Rico. He has been an active participant in the business and philanthropic communities, including as a mentor with American Corporate Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans in their transition from the armed services to the civilian workforce.
Lee Saunders is president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, which represents 1.6 million members. He was elected at the union’s 40th International Convention in June 2012. Saunders was previously elected secretary-treasurer at the union’s 39th International Convention in July 2010. Saunders began his career with AFSCME in 1978 as a labor economist. He has served in the capacities of assistant director of research and collective bargaining services, director of community action and deputy director of organizing and field services. Building on ideas generated by local unions, Saunders has championed AFSCME’s Next Wave initiative to encourage and develop the next generation of union leadership.
Roger O. Smith
American Income Life
Roger Smith joined American Income Life Insurance Company in 1975 and quickly excelled as a field associate, becoming Associate of the Year in 1976. In Sept. 1999, Smith was appointed Executive Vice President of AIL. In Jan. 2002, Smith was appointed the President and Chief Marketing Officer of AIL. In Dec. 2003 Smith became the company’s Chief Executive Officer and President. Smith has received recognition in a number of public service areas. He was appointed to the boards of the Alliance for Retired Americans and the Elderly Housing Development & Operations Corporation. Smith is the Vice Chairman of the Labor Advisory Board of American Income Life and National Income Life, as well as a consultant to the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
American Federation of Teachers
Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.4-million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal employees; and early childhood educators. She was elected in July 2008, following 11 years of service as an AFT vice president.