Elizabeth H. Shuler (she/her) is president of the 57 unions and 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO. A visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, Shuler believes the labor movement is the single most powerful vehicle for progress and that unions are a central force in leading lasting societal transformations. She is committed to busting myths about labor, leveraging the labor movement’s diversity for innovative approaches to social justice and making the benefits of a union voice on the job available to working people everywhere.
Shuler is the first woman to hold the office of president in the history of the labor federation. She was elected by the AFL-CIO Executive Council on Aug. 20, 2021, after the unexpected and untimely passing of her predecessor, Richard Trumka. In 2009, Shuler became the first woman elected to the position of secretary-treasurer at an AFL-CIO convention and the youngest woman ever on the federation’s Executive Council. As secretary-treasurer, she led the AFL-CIO’s initiatives on the future of work, retirement security, the clean energy economy, public safety reform, workforce development, and empowering women and young workers.
Shuler grew up in a union household—her father, Lance, was a power lineman and longtime member of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125 at Portland General Electric and her late mother, Joyce, worked as an estimator in the company’s service and design department. Shuler is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism. Shuler lives with her husband, David Herbst, and their black labrador retriever, Trader, in Washington, D.C.