Business & Human Rights Director, Human Rights Watch
Arvind Ganesan is the director of Human Rights Watch’s Business and Human Rights Division. He leads the organization’s work to expose human rights abuses linked to business and other economic activity, hold institutions accountable, and develop standards to prevent future abuses. This work has included research and advocacy on awide range of issues includingthe extractive industries; public and private security providers; international financial institutions; freedom of expression and information through the internet; labor rights; supply chain monitoring and due diligence regimes; corruption; sanctions; and predatory practices against the poor. Ganesan’s work has covered countries such as Angola, Azerbaijan, Burma, China, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, India, Indonesia, the United States, and Nigeria. His recent research has focused on predatory lending practices and governance issues on Native American reservations in the United States. He has written numerous reports, op-eds, and other articles and is widely cited by the media.Ganesan has also worked to develop industry standards to ensure companies and other institutions respect human rights. He is a founder of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights for the oil, gas, and mining industries and is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative (GNI) for the internet and telecommunications industries, where he also serves on the board. Ganesan has helped to develop standards for international financial institutions such as the World Bank, and regularly engages governments in an effort to develop mandatory rules or strengthen existing standards such as the Kimberley Process. He serves on the board of EGJustice, a nongovernmental organization that promotes good governance in Equatorial Guinea, and is a member of the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)’s steering committee.Before joining Human Rights Watch, Ganesan worked as a medical researcher. He attended the University of Oklahoma.
National Organizer, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Barbara has been a domestic worker for the past 17 years, and is well acquainted with both the exploitation domestic workers face—and the potential of domestic workers to organize for lasting change. She is an active member of Domestic Workers United (DWU), one of the NDWA’s founding affiliate organizations, and has provided consistent and inspiring leadership for the NDWA since its foundation. Barbara was instrumental in mobilizing her fellow domestic workers to win the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in New York. She now uses her experiences with the Bill of Rights campaign to inspire and motivate domestic workers in other parts of the country to fight for similar protections. As a member of DWU’s Steering Committee for the past eight years, Barbara has helped grow DWU’s membership and deepen its impact through a simultaneous commitment to the organization’s internal operations and its external work. Barbara is a powerful public speaker who has represented DWU and the NDWA in numerous events and in the media. She has helped build bridges between sectors of excluded workers within the U.S. through testimony at the Excluded Workers’ Congress, and has worked to build a global domestic workers’ movement through collaborations with Grassroots Global Justice and the Association for Women in Development. Prior to moving to the U.S., Barbara was active in the labor movement in her native Barbados. She looks forward to the opportunity to work on a larger scale for domestic workers’ rights through her new position as National Organizer.
Vice-President, Berlin Rosen
Danny Massey brings two decades of experience as a journalist, communications strategist and organizer to BerlinRosen’s National Issue Advocacy Practice. Danny knows how to shape and tell the engaging stories that help win campaigns. Many of his clients—including the National Employment Law Project and OUR Walmart—focus on improving the lives of low-wage workers. Prior to BerlinRosen, Danny was a senior reporter at Crain’s New York Business, where his reporting on social, economic and political issues helped set the agenda in the city and earned him a place on City and State’s 2011 list of rising stars. An award-winning journalist, Danny’s writing has also appeared in Newsday, the Star-Ledger, the Daily News and the Times-Ledger. He has appeared as a commentator on PBS, NPR, FOX, NBC, and NY1. Danny lived for two years in South Africa and in 2010 published his first book, Under Protest, on the role Nelson Mandela’s alma mater played in the country’s liberation movement.
Professor of Political Science, Columbia University School of Public Affairs
Co-Director, Program on Labor Law & Policy
Dorian T. Warren specializes in the study of inequality and American politics. He teaches and conducts research on labor organizing and politics, race and ethnic politics, urban politics and policy, American political development, community organizing and social movements, and social science methodology. Prior to coming to Columbia, Professor Warren spent two years as a visiting scholar at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and spent 2008-2009 as a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.
Interim Provost, Cornell University
Harry C. Katz is the interim Provost at Cornell University and the Jack Sheinkman Professor of Collective Bargaining at the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. After teaching at MIT he came to the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University in 1985.
CWA Area Director, Trenton, NJ
Ileen DeVault is Professor of Labor History at Cornell University’s ILR School in Ithaca, NY, where she teaches classes on labor and working-class history. She is also one of the co-chairs of the Equity at Work Initiative of The Worker Institute at Cornell, as well as a member of The Worker Institute Executive Committee. She is the author of Sons and Daughters of Labor and United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism, as well as articles. Her current research is on issues involving the impact of workers’ family status on their workplace experiences between 1880 and 1930.
Professor Gross teaches Labor Law, Labor Arbitration, and a course entitled Values, Rights and Justice in Economics, Law, and Industrial Relations. He received his B.S. from LaSalle College, M.A. from Temple University, and Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin. Professor Gross is a member of National Academy of Arbitrators and on the labor arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and New York State Public Employment Relations Board, as well as being a panelist named in several contracts.
Executive Assistant to the President & Chief of Staff, AFL-CIO
Jonathan Hiatt is the Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO. He was appointed to the position in September, 2009, by the Federation's newly-elected President, Richard L. Trumka. Prior to this appointment, Hiatt served for fourteen years as the General Counsel of the AFL-CIO. He was appointed to that position by then-President John J. Sweeney upon Sweeney’s election as President, and served as General Counsel during Sweeney’s entire tenure. Hiatt had previously served eight years as General Counsel to the Service Employees International Union, based in Washington, D.C., where he directed the International Union’s legal department. Before that, he was a partner in a union-side labor law firm in Boston, Massachusetts, Angoff, Goldman, Manning, Pyle, Wanger and Hiatt. He joined the firm in 1974, after graduating from Berkeley Law School (University of California) and Harvard College.
Professor Griffith is Associate Professor of Labor & Employment Law at Cornell's ILR School. Griffith's scholarship focuses primarily on the intersection of immigration and workplace law at the subfederal, federal and international levels. She has published in both social science and legal journals. She teaches courses on labor & employment law, immigration law and legal issues affecting low-wage and contingent workforces. In 2010, she received a Cornell ILR MacIntyre Award for Exemplary Teaching and was selected by a Merrill Presidential Scholar as the faculty member who had the most positive influence on his education at Cornell University.
Dean of the ILR School, Cornell University
Kevin is the Kenneth F. Kahn Dean and the Joseph R. Rich Professor of Economics and Human Resource Studies in the ILR School at Cornell University. Previous Cornell positions include the Chair of the Financial Policy Committee, the Donald C. Opatrny Chair of the University-Wide Department of Economics, and founding Director of the Institute for Compensation Studies. He has been at Cornell since 2005.
President, Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Larry Cohen was elected president of the Communications Workers of America in 2005, after serving as Executive Vice President for seven years.Cohen has promoted reform inside CWA and beyond. Under Cohen’s leadership, convention delegates approved a measure to add the voices of local union leaders to the union’s executive board, to broaden diversity of board membership, and to expand the important perspective of local leaders to the union’s leadership.Cohen has expanded CWA’s membership mobilization program to create a network of union stewards and activists. He is a leading voice in focusing attention on the crisis in collective bargaining in the United States and the need for real reform.Throughout his career, Cohen has led major contract negotiations in both the public and private sectors. Cohen was one of the first to recognize changes in telecommunications through the convergence of video, voice and data technologies, and the need to unify unionized workers in these sectors. He also has worked to expand CWA – the union now represents workers in information technology and communications; print and broadcast media and publishing; health care, education and public workers; manufacturing and the airline industry.On the international scene, Cohen has worked to strengthen the effectiveness and solidarity of the international labor movement. He has expanded alliances with CWA’s counterpart unions in Latin America, Europe and Asia, and served as president of the 2.5 million-member Union Network International (UNI) Telecom Sector from 2001 until 2007, and continues to serve on the UNI World Executive Board.Larry is a member of the Democratic National Committee. He was a founder of Jobs with Justice. He is a Board member of the Blue Green Alliance, and a convener of the Democracy Initiative, a national coalition around voting rights, money in politics, and Senate rules reform.
Director, AFL-CIO Youth Awareness Initiative
Liz Shuler was elected AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer in September 2009, the youngest person ever to become an officer of the AFL-CIO. Shuler previously was the highest-ranking woman in the Electrical Workers (IBEW) union, serving as the top assistant to the IBEW president since 2004. In 1993, she joined IBEW Local 125 in Portland, Ore., where she worked as an organizer and state legislative and political director. In 1998, she was part of the IBEW’s international staff in Washington, D.C., as a legislative and political representative.
Professor, ILR & Director of The Worker Institute
Lowell Turner is Professor of International and Comparative Labor at Cornell University, in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He is the author of Democracy at Work and Fighting for Partnership (both published by Cornell University Press), and the editor or co-editor of Negotiating the New Germany, Rekindling the Movement, Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds, and Mobilizing against Inequality (all published by ILR Press/Cornell University Press). In June, 2011, he was appointed to a three-year term as the first director of the new Worker Institute at Cornell.
General Counsel, AFL-CIO
Lynn Rhinehart is an Associate General Counsel for the AFL-CIO, a federation of 55 affiliated unions representing 10 million working men and women. Ms. Rhinehart has held this position since 1996. Among her responsibilities is the coordination of the Federation?s legal work on occupational safety and health issues and advising the Federation's Health and Safety Department on legislative and regulatory issues pertaining to worker safety and health. Ms. Rhinehart graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1994. Following graduation, she clerked for two years for the Honorable Joyce Hens Green of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Ms. Rhinehart is a member of the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania bars. From 1987-1990, Ms. Rhinehart worked as a professional staff member for the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, chaired by Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH).
Mark Gaston Pearce
Chairman, National Labor Relations Board
Mark Gaston Pearce was named Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board by President Obama on August 27, 2011. He was sworn in as a Board Member on April 07, 2010, following his recess appointment, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 22, 2010. On August 23, 2013 he was sworn in for a second term that expires on August 27, 2018. Pearce was a founding partner of the Buffalo, New York law firm of Creighton, Pearce, Johnsen & Giroux, where he practiced union and plaintiff side labor and employment law. Prior to his entry into private practice Mr. Pearce was an attorney and District Trial Specialist in the Buffalo NY Regional office of the NLRB. By appointment of the Governor of the State of New York Mr. Pearce served on several commissions as well as the New York State Industrial Board of Appeals, where he ruled on appeals of wage and hour decisions of the NYS Department of Labor. He has taught at Cornell University's School of Industrial Labor Relations Extension, and is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Mr. Pearce received his Juris Doctor from University at Buffalo Law School of the State University of New York, and his Bachelors degree from Cornell University.
Mary Joyce Carlson
Attorney, Fast Food Forward Campaign
Professor of Law, University of Connecticut Law School
Labor law scholar R. Michael Fischl spent four years with the Division of Enforcement Litigation at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and a year with the Litigation Unit of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board before joining the University of Miami faculty in 1983, where he taught for 23 years and was the 2005-2006 recipient of Miami’s Golden Apple Award for outstanding teaching and service. While with the NLRB, Professor Fischl, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was the principal author of the agency’s successful Supreme Court briefs in NLRB v. Hendricks County REMC and NLRB v. Transportation Management Inc., as well as the recipient of several commendations for outstanding appellate work. A Law School faculty member since 2006, Professor Fischl’s research interests include union organizing and collective bargaining, the individual contract of employment, legal theory, and legal education. He has offered American work law courses as a visiting professor at Yale and Cardozo Law Schools; has taught comparative labor law at University College London and Eberhard-Karls-Universität in Tübingen, Germany; and has lectured widely on labor law topics. He also is co-chair of Intell, an international network of progressive scholars and practitioners that hosts labor and employment law conferences in the U.S. and throughout the world. Professor Fischl is co-author with former Law School Dean Jeremy Paul of Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams. In 2008-2010, he served as associate dean for research and faculty development.
Executive Assistant to the President, AFSCME
Paul has served as AFSCME’s liaison to the American labor movement, galvanizing the movement to work better together. He aided in the foundation of Jobs with Justice and American Rights at Work. A mentor to many, Paul’s tenure at AFSCME has been and continues to be illustrious. He has put the health of the American labor movement above all, and his continued quest for labor unity is unmatched. Before joining AFSCME, Paul was a researcher at the Adlai Stevenson Institute and the research director for the United Packinghouse Workers. Paul worked with Saul Alinsky to form Citizens Action Program. He has been a board member of the Midwest Academy since its founding by Heather.In 1974, Paul joined AFSCME as the International union representative for Illinois. He helped organize the state employees there, a hugely successful campaign that led to the founding of Council 31. He went to work for Council 31 and then returned to the International union as an International union area director.
Richard F. Griffin
General Counsel, National Labor Relations Board
Richard F. Griffin, Jr. was sworn in as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board on November 4, 2013 for a four year term. Prior to becoming General Counsel, Mr. Griffin served as a Board Member from January 9, 2012 through August 2, 2013. Mr. Griffin previously served as General Counsel for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). He also served on the board of directors for the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, a position he held since 1994. Since 1983, he has held a number of leadership positions with IUOE from Assistant House Counsel to Associate General Counsel. From 1985 to 1994, Mr. Griffin served as a member of the board of trustees of the IUOE’s central pension fund. From 1981 to 1983, he served as a Counsel to NLRB Board Members. Mr. Griffin holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.
Richard W. Hurd is Associate Dean for External Relations and Professor of Labor Studies. A leading specialist on trade union administration and strategy, and on the unionization of professional workers, he has been quoted widely in the national and international print and broadcast media on various labor issues.
Risa L. Lieberwitz is a Professor of Labor and Employment Law in the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), where she has been a professor since 1982. She is an associate in the Worker Institute at Cornell and a co-director of the Cornell University Law and Society minor. Professor Lieberwitz currently holds an appointment as General Counsel of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). She has also served as a member of AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
Executive Director, National Guest Worker Alliance
Saket Soni is the executive director of the National Guestworker Alliance and the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice
Executive Director, Freelancers’ Union
Horowitz founded the Freelancers Union and serves as the chief executive officer of the Freelancers Insurance Co. A MacArthur Foundation genius fellow, Horowitz is a voice for the emerging economy and the independent workers within it. Her work as an advocate, educator and union leader led to recognitions including the “Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs” in 2011 by Forbes, “Top 25 Most Promising Social Entrepreneur” in 2011 by Businessweek, “25 People to Watch” in 2010 by Crain's New York Business, and “100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow” at the 2002 World Economic Forum.
Executive Director, Jobs with Justice
Sarita Gupta is the Executive Director of Jobs with Justice (JwJ). JwJ is building a strong, progressive labor movement that works in coalition with community, faith, and student organizations to build a broader global movement for economic and social justice. In over 45 communities in 25 states, JwJ local coalitions are organizing to address issues impacting working families. Sarita served as the national field director from 2004-2007, overseeing the national field program and leading on strategic programs such as health care justice, organizing and collective bargaining rights campaigns, and immigrant workers’ rights. Prior to joining the national JwJ staff in 2002 as a regional field organizer, Sarita served as the Executive Director of Chicago Jobs with Justice (JwJ) for four years, where she helped build the coalition to over 70 member organizations and unions. Sarita began organizing as a student on campus. She was elected President of the U.S. Student Association (USSA), the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots legislative student organization, in 1996. While working at USSA, she was instrumental in the development of the Student Labor Action Project, a project of JwJ and USSA. She serves on the following boards and Steering Committees: International Labor Rights Forum, National Organizers Forum, the National Planning Committee of the U.S. Social Forum, the Inter-Alliance Dialogue, Other Worlds is Possible Giving Circle, and The Discount Foundation Board of Trustees.
Fellow, Georgetown University’s Kalamanovitz Initiative
Stephen Lerner is a labor and community organizer and architect of the groundbreaking Justice for Janitors campaign. Over the past three decades Lerner has organized hundreds of thousands of janitors, farm workers, garment workers, and other low-wage workers into unions, resulting in increased wages, first-time health benefits, paid sick days, and other improvements on the job. A leading critic of Wall Street bankers and the increased financialization of the U.S. economy, Lerner argues the growing power and influence of the finance industry has led to record income inequality and served as the primary driving force behind the creation of overwhelming debt obligations seen at the state and local level. He advocates for the use of non-violent civil disobedience as a tactic to challenge the influence of Wall Street and corporations. Lerner is a frequent contributor on national television and radio programs and has published numerous articles charting a path for a 21st century labor movement focused on growth and meeting the challenges of a global economy.
Tamara L. Lee
Assistant Professor, Rutgers University Labor Education Center
Before joining the faculty at SMLR, Tamara Lee worked as a staff attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington D.C. She also worked as a Labor Management Relations Examiner for the Board in Chicago. Lee recently received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Professor of Management, MIT
Co-Director, MIT Sloan Institute for Work & Employment
Thomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, a Professor of Work and Employment Research and Engineering Systems, and the Co-Director of the MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Kochan focuses on the need to update America’s work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor-management relations are needed to address America’s critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is entitled, Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families’ Agenda for America (MIT Press, September 2005). Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin.
Former NLRB Chair & Visiting Lecturer, ILR
President Obama designated Wilma B. Liebman to be chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on January 20, 2009. She served as chairman until August 27, 2011, when her third term expired.Ms. Liebman served as a member of the NLRB from November 14, 1997. She was first appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to a five-year term that expired on December 16, 2002. She was reappointed by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate to a second term that expired on August 27, 2006. She was again reappointed by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate to a third term that expired on August 27, 2011. She was the third longest serving member of the NLRB in its 76 year history.Prior to joining the NLRB, Ms. Liebman served for two years as deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). She acted as the chief operations officer of this federal agency, overseeing arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, international affairs and labor-management cooperation grants programs. In addition, Ms. Liebman advised the FMCS director on issues involving major labor disputes and participated in significant negotiations as needed.From 1994-96, Ms. Liebman served as special assistant to the director of FMCS. In this role, she was a key member of the Mediator Task Force on the Future of FMCS, an 18-member employee group charged with articulating a vision and recommendations to lead the Agency into the 21st century.Prior to joining FMCS in January 1994, Ms. 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 1974-80.Ms. Liebman 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.