The Economic Policy Institute announced today the promotion of Celine McNicholas to director of policy and government affairs. She will also serve as EPI’s general counsel.
An attorney, McNicholas has been EPI’s director of government affairs since joining the institute in 2017. She has led EPI’s legislative efforts on a wide range of workers’ rights issues, including labor law reform, collective bargaining, and union organizing. Her research has informed policymakers, advocates, and journalists on why unions are good for workers, how current labor law fails to protect the right to unionize, and why workers need legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to restore the right to unionize.
“I am honored to take on this new role,” said McNicholas. “With the current administration and Congress, we have a major opportunity to build power for working people and advance economic and racial justice—but only if we get the policy right. Now is the time for Congress to pass the PRO Act, a $15 minimum wage, and the Build Back Better agenda, which makes vital investments in child care, home health care, climate, and more.”
Before joining EPI, McNicholas served as director of congressional and public affairs and as special counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). At the NLRB, she counseled presidential nominees to the board and the general counsel throughout the Senate confirmation process. In addition, McNicholas was responsible for the agency’s congressional affairs work including all agency oversight matters.
From 2009 to 2013, she served as senior labor counsel to Ranking Member George Miller (D-Calif.) for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. In that role, she advised Rep. Miller on legal issues surrounding the Fair Labor Standards Act, National Labor Relations Act, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Davis–Bacon Act, Service Contract Act, and project labor agreements.
As director of policy, she will succeed Heidi Shierholz, who became EPI president in September.