The Century Foundation (TCF), a leading progressive think tank, today announced the hiring of Jody Calemine as Senior Fellow and Director of Labor and Employment Policy, a newly created position. Calemine’s work at TCF will focus on building worker power, employment and retirement security, inclusive manufacturing and job training, and worker supports such as unemployment insurance.
A labor lawyer by profession, Calemine previously served as general counsel and then chief of staff at the Communications Workers of America (CWA), an international labor union representing 700,000 workers. Prior to CWA, Jody worked for the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee in various roles for more than a decade, including as deputy director of labor policy, general counsel, and staff director.
“Jody is one of the nation’s foremost advocates for working families and organized labor. For more than two decades, both within government and the labor movement, he has leveraged public policy, litigation, and tried and true worker organizing to win victory after victory for workers and unions,” said Mark Zuckerman, TCF President and former Deputy Director of President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council. “Having worked alongside Jody on Capitol Hill, I know firsthand the tremendous creativity, skill, and expertise he will bring to TCF’s work on behalf of America’s workers.”
Throughout his career, Calemine has amassed an impressive list of victories to improve the lives of working people. As general counsel at CWA, he was in charge of managing the union’s legal strategy, including coordinating litigation in the successful 40,000-person strike at Verizon from Virginia to Massachusetts in 2016, overseeing groundbreaking litigation to fight employment discrimination, and pursuing challenges to anti-worker state laws. As chief of staff, he coordinated various departments of the union in organizing and bargaining fights. On Capitol Hill, he helped enact legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Minimum Wage Act of 2007, and the Affordable Care Act.
“As our current ‘summer of strikes’ makes clear, this is an exciting moment for working people and organized labor in the United States—full of potential and opportunity,” said TCF’s new Director of Labor and Employment Policy Jody Calemine. “TCF’s economic team includes some of the leading thinkers working to build worker power, strengthen employment protections, and grow inclusive manufacturing and job training. I’m thrilled to join Mark and the team at this pivotal time for U.S. workers and unions.”
In addition, TCF announced that two recent graduates of Next100, the start-up think tank launched by the organization in 2019, have joined Century as full-time staff members. Chantal Hinds, a lawyer by trade, is a new TCF Fellow, continuing her work to advocate for students involved in the foster system and ensure they have the educational support they need to succeed. Alejandra Vázquez Baur, who was just selected as one of the 100 inaugural Obama Foundation Leaders USA, is joining TCF as a Fellow, where she will continue to lead the National Newcomer Network she co-founded while at Next100, as well as Manager of the Bridges Collaborative, TCF’s groundbreaking school integration initiative representing more than 3.5 million students.