Andy Stern is a senior fellow at Columbia University’s Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy and author of Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream. Andy Stern is the former president of the 2.2-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest union of healthcare, doctors, nurses, janitors, security officers, child care, home care, hospital, and state workers, and the fastest-growing union in North America. As a labor leader Stern led efforts for all workers to produce solutions on major issues confronting American workers, most importantly universal health care and comprehensive immigration reform, and living wages.
Called a “courageous, visionary leader who charted a bold new course for American unionism,” Stern has been featured on 60 Minutes, CNN, and on the covers of The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Businessweek, as well as being named the Fox Power Player of the Week. Under his tenure as president, SEIU bucked the trend and through its signature national and global organizing campaigns SEIU grew by more than 1.2 million workers, turning traditionally underpaid service work into jobs that can help support a family and lift up a community. Stern began working as a social service worker and member of SEIU Local 668 in 1971. He served as Organizing Director for SEIU before his landmark election as president in 1996. After launching a national debate about the fundamental change needed to unite the 9 out of 10 American workers who have no organization at work, Mr. Stern led SEIU out of the AFL-CIO and transformed the national labor landscape by founding the Change to Win labor federation with six other major unions in 2005. He retired from SEIU in 2010.
Stern was a Presidential Appointee on the Simpson-Bowles Commission has been or is a board member of the Broad Foundation, The Aspen Institute, the Open Society Foundation, the Economic Policy Institute, and he has served as the President of the Kaiser Permanente Partnership. His first book A Country That Works was published in 2005, and he is currently working on a second on the future of work.