Eric Brown is a labor union official, teacher, and member of the executive committee of the National Education Association (NEA), the largest labor union in the United States. Brown was elected in 2015 to a three-year term, and he was reelected in 2018. Brown has focused much of his efforts as a teacher and at the NEA on initiatives to promote left-of-center policies on race.
Early Life and Education
Eric Brown grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and has said that he was inspired to become a teacher after a meeting with poet Maya Angelou. 
Brown received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences in 1997 and a master’s degree in education in 1999, both from Northwestern University. 
After earning his graduate degree, Brown began working as a biology teacher at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois. Brown worked as a faculty advisor to the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, and as co-chair of the school’s mentoring and induction program. 
Brown has represented teachers and students on the Illinois State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board.  He also sat on the board of trustees of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy since 2013. 
Brown formerly worked as president of the Evanston High School Teacher Council and as a board member of the Illinois Education Association, local and state chapters of the NEA respectively. Brown left those positions in 2015. 
National Education Association
On July 4, 2015, Brown was elected to a three-year term to the executive committee of the National Education Association. The nine-member board consists of the president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer, and six union members elected by the NEA Representative Assembly, including Brown.  The committee is responsible for organizing general union policy between the four annual meetings of the NEA board. 
Brown has led the establishment of the NEA’s New Ed Campaign, which conducts recruitment of and training for new teachers. 
In 2018, Brown chaired an NEA task force to investigate the union’s commitment to recruiting and promoting teachers with ethnic and racial minority backgrounds. The task force concluded that minority teachers were underrepresented compared to the overall student body, and that new measures needed to be created to recruit more minority teachers, including mentorship programs, more direct outreach, and the establishment of partnerships with “minority serving institutions.” 
On July 5, 2018, Brown was reelected to the NEA board. 
In 2019, Brown was one of two executive committee leads on the Racial Justice in Education annual report. The report examined the degree to which NEA affiliates had attempted to achieve “racial justice” goals, including expanding minority teacher recruitment, setting up special education assistance programs for minority students, and combatting alleged racial bias in schools. The report found that 22 state-level NEA unions had implemented policy changes on race recommended by the NEA Conference on Racial and Social Justice, 16 states had hired personnel to implement the changes, and 81% of surveyed union groups had engaged in racial justice training for its members. 
In June 2020, Brown appeared on Tuttle Talks, an NEA podcast, advocating for greater racial awareness in the education system in the wake of the police-custody death of George Floyd.  On October 23, 2020, Brown gave a talk at a Michigan Education Association conference on how teachers should collaborate with students to implement left-of-center changes to racial policy and education in schools.