The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) announced today that DPE Assistant to the President and Research Director Jennifer Dorning will become its next president, succeeding Paul E. Almeida who is retiring. Dorning will take office on September 1, 2018, becoming the third president and the first woman to lead DPE in its 40-plus year history. As the first female president of DPE, Dorning will also become the first woman to lead an AFL-CIO trade department.
“I am honored to serve as the next president of DPE and excited to work with DPE’s 24 affiliates to continue to make gains for professionals in unions,” said Dorning. “Joining together in union has long been a way for women to use their collective voice to negotiate for equality in the workplace. I am proud to be part of the growing group of women who lead national labor organizations, especially in a time when more women are moving into leadership positions and being elected to public office.”
Dorning, who joined DPE in 2010, has been a strengthening force at DPE with her ability to generate new ideas and execute projects that lift up unions of professionals. Dorning led the effort to develop organizing tools tailored to professionals, which resulted in the creation of suite of resources for DPE affiliated unions that has been used to help more professionals join together in union. Prior to joining DPE, Dorning served in a number of advocacy-related positions, including as a criminal defense attorney, legislative assistant in the Oregon state legislature, and working on political campaigns for progressive candidates and causes. Dorning was unanimously elected by the DPE Executive Committee to carry out the rest of Almeida’s term in April 2018.
As president, Dorning will build on the achievements made by DPE and unions of professionals during Almeida’s 17-year tenure as DPE president. Under Almeida’s leadership, DPE became more vital to the labor movement than ever through its work facilitating collaboration, developing resources, and hosting programs to help its 24 affiliate unions better represent professionals. In 2017, DPE’s success and relevance was reinforced when professional union membership hit a new high at 6.15 million members. With more and more professionals interested in joining together in union, Dorning plans to seize the opportunity to help DPE affiliates continue to grow the number of professional union members.
“Paul has given me invaluable knowledge on how to lead a coalition of professional unions and I’m thankful for the time I’ve spent working beside him,” said Dorning. “We’ve seen that professionals are increasingly realizing that by joining together in union they can negotiate for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. I look forward to ensuring professionals continue to see the benefits of joining together and become the union members of the future.”