ANDY STERN, President of Service Employees International Union
In the August 2009 issue of Modern Healthcare Andy Stern was named one of the top ten most powerful people in healthcare. It is the fifth year in a row that Stern has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential players on the quest for healthcare reform in America. He advocates affordable quality healthcare for everyone, superior public service, and globalization that mutually benefits individuals and large corporations.
In 1973 Stern began his work as a social service worker and member of SEIU Local 668. After many years as SEIU’s Director of Organizing, Stern was elected SEIU president in 1996 and under his leadership the membership of SEIU to more than 2 million members. In 2005 Stern led SEIU out of the AFL-CIO and founded the organization Change to Win, a 6 million-member federation comprised of seven major labor unions committed to giving workers a right to be heard at their jobs. Author of the book, A Country That Works Stern recommends political and economic reforms that he believes will help ensure a brighter future for America.
ANNA BURGER, Chair; Change to Win; International Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU, CLC
Anna Burger is a top ranking officer at SEIU, and the first chair of America’s newest labor federation, Change to Win. She has been called, “the most powerful woman in the labor movement” by Fortune Magazine and recognized as one of “The Top 50 Women to Watch” by the Wall Street Journal in 2007. Burger manages SEIU’s national political operations. In 2008, she led the SEIU’s grassroots election work that helped Obama win the presidential election. In what is regarded as the largest mobilization by a single organization in the history of U.S. politics, over 13,000 SEIU members worked coast to coast to bring change to Washington, D.C. and make the American dream possible for working families.
Burger began her career in 1972 working as a Pennsylvania state caseworker and union activist and was later elected as the first female president for SEIU Local 668. She moved on to run the statewide political program before becoming the SEIU’s national field director. Burger has been an active delegate to the Democratic National Convention since 1984. She has played a significant role in developing the infrastructure of the progressive movement by partnering with and developing organizations to ensure presence of progressive leaders at all levels of government. In 2009, Burger was named to President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which is responsible for helping guide the President’s economic recovery policies. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.
GERALD HUDSON, International Executive Vice President of SEIU
Recently honored by Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations for his extraordinary leadership, Gerald Hudson continues to support the cause to improve the lives of working families and their communities. He has served on the board of several labor-based organizations including the Apollo Alliance as well as the nation’s leading public policy think tank, the Board for Redefining Progress. Hudson has served as the Executive Vice President of SEIU since June 2004.
Hudson has been a member of SEIU since 1978 when he was a nursing home worker and where he was a member of SEIU Local 144 in Riverdale, NY. In 1989 he was elected as executive vice president for former-District 1199. Hudson spent over a decade supervising 1199 New York’s political action, education, publications and cultural affairs departments. Hudson coordinated the merger of 30,000- member Local 144 into SEIU/1199. He founded the 1199 School for Social Change, and served as a trustee of the Local 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund, Home Care Workers Benefit Fund, and Michelson Education Fund. Additionally, Hudson is politically active and in 1996 he served as political director of the New York State Democratic Party as well as making significant contribution to the election of H. Carl McCall, the first African American controller in New York State. He leads SEIU efforts to obtain affordable healthcare for all, immigration reform, and create alliances with other community groups. Currently he lives with his wife and their two children in Washington, D.C.
TOM BALANOFF, SEIU Local 1 President
Tom Balanoff is president of SEIU Local 1 and the SEIU Illinois State Council. SEIU Local 1 represents 50,000 property service workers throughout the central United States. SEIU’s Illinois membership has doubled during Balanoff’s presidency, after the Illinois unions restructured into industry-focused locals and organized more than 75,000 low-wage workers in the health care and child care industries.
Balanoff, the son of a steelworker, graduated with a Master's Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois in 1974, and worked for the Fire Fighters Union, the Allied Industrial Workers' Union, and the Cement Workers Union before joining SEIU as international research director in 1988. Within a year, he was promoted to Building Service Division director, where he joined SEIU’s senior staff and played a crucial role in the Justice for Janitors campaigns. He was elected to the SEIU international executive board in 1995 and became an international vice president in 1996. In 1999, he led the reorganization of the largest building service local in the country, the 75,000-member Local 32 BJ in New York City. In 2000, Balanoff returned to Chicago, where he was elected president of Local 1. Balanoff led the international union to endorse Obama in the Presidential Primary. Balanoff was one of the founders of Chicago Jobs with Justice, a founding member of United Power, and has served on the boards of the Chicago Anti-Defamation League, Citizen Action Illinois, and the Illinois Coalition for Better Health Care.
Balanoff was one of the founders of Chicago Jobs with Justice; is a founding member of United Power; and has served on the boards of the Chicago Anti-Defamation League, Citizen Action Illinois, and the Illinois Coalition for Better Health Care.
JONATHAN ALTER, Senior Editor and Columnist Newsweek
Jonathan Alter is an award-winning columnist, television analyst and author. Since 1991, Alter has written a Newsweek column that examines politics and a wide range of social and global matters. Over the past decade he has worked as a contributing correspondent for NBC News and has made regular appearances on broadcasts including frequent appearances on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on MSNBC. The 2008 election marked the seventh presidential election that Alter covered for Newsweek. Alter has earned many awards for his political columns, including first prize from the National Headliner Awards for Special Column on One Subject for a series of columns on life after 9/11. He was also part of the teams of Newsweek reporters and editors awarded the prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 1993, 2002, 2004.
A Chicago native, Alter received his B.A. in history with honors from
Harvard in 1979. Alter joined Newsweek as an associate editor
in the Nation section in March 1983, and became media critic the following
year. He was named a senior writer in February 1987 and a senior editor
in September 1991. For two years prior to joining Newsweek, Alter
was an editor at The Washington Monthly. He has also freelanced
articles for such publications as The New Republic, Esquire, Slate
and The New York Times. He resides in New Jersey with his wife
KAREN TUMULTY, National Political Correspondent, TIME Magazine:
Karen Tumulty was named national political correspondent for TIME in 2001. She joined the magazine as a congressional correspondent in 1994. Tumulty has written or co-written more than 25 cover stories for TIME, the most recent of which “So You Think You’re Insured (Think Again)” in March 2009 was a story about her own brother’s struggle to get healthcare for a life-threatening disease. She contributes regularly to TIME.com's political blog, "Swampland," and has also held positions with TIME as congressional correspondent and White House correspondent. Before joining TIME, Tumulty spent 14 years at the Los Angeles Times, where she covered a wide variety of beats, including Congress, business, energy and economics out of Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.
Tumulty holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas-Austin and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In 1982, Tumulty was awarded the Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished business and financial journalism, and, in 1993, she won the National Press Foundation Edwin Hood Award for diplomatic correspondence. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and two children.