Naomi Walker serves as the Director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Before joining EPI, she was the Assistant to the President at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which is the nation’s largest and fastest growing public services employees union with more than 1.6 million active and retired members. In her role on the executive team of AFSCME, she was responsible for coordinating the union’s partnerships with allies and coalitions in order to build power for working families.
Prior to joining AFSCME in 2012, she served as the Director of State Government Relations and the Deputy Director of the Government Affairs Department for the AFL- CIO, where she worked with national unions, state federations, and allies to coordinate state legislative campaigns around the country, providing guidance on strategy, message, member mobilization, and research, as well as writing model legislation. Walker has coordinated state issue campaigns on a variety of issues, including fighting so-called Right to Work legislation and attacks on working families; exposing profitable corporations like Wal-Mart that shift their health care costs onto state taxpayers; stopping the export of American jobs; and providing affordable health care for working families.
While at the AFL-CIO, Walker also served as the Assistant Director of the AFL-CIO Politics and Field Department, leading labor’s field campaign for the 2006 election cycle. She managed staff in 32 states as they coordinated labor’s political program to educate, mobilize and turn out union members to vote.
Walker was appointed to be the Associate Deputy Secretary of Labor at the beginning of the Obama Administration, serving as a liaison between the Department of Labor and the labor movement before she rejoined the AFL-CIO in 2010.
Before joining the AFL-CIO in 1997, Walker served as the Field Director of the Preamble Center for Public Policy, where she helped coordinate both press and field work on progressive policy issues like corporate accountability and fair trade. From 1993 until 1996, she was the Midwestern Regional Organizer for the Children’s Defense Fund.
Walker received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Studies from Duke University.