Person

Michelle Ringuette

Residence:

Washington, DC

Occupation:

Assistant to the President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Michelle Ringuette is a left-of-center political operative and organizer who since 2013 has worked as an official at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) where she has the title of assistant to the president for labor, government relations, and political affairs. She has worked in public relations and as a spokesperson at numerous other left-of-center groups and labor unions throughout her career, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Amnesty International, and the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. In addition to her full-time employment at the AFT, Ringuette is a board member for multiple left-leaning advocacy organizations including the State Innovation Exchange (SIX), Working America, and For Our Future PAC. [1] [2]

Background and Abortion Activism

Michelle Ringette received an undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy from Boston College and later took some graduate classes at Harvard University. Her first job working for a center-left organization began in 1993 when she was the director of operations at NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. Three years later she joined the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts where she was a senior communications specialist which was followed by stints with left-leaning research firm Campbell-Kibler Associates and pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice. [3]

SEIU

In 2007, Ringuette joined the Service Employees International Union, where she spent four and a half years as the director of strategic affairs. [4] While at the SEIU, Ringuette served as a spokesperson for then-SEIU president Andy Stern. Union-centric bloggers were critical of both Stern and Ringuette. In one instance it was reported that Ringuette had attempted to organize a campaign protesting several academics who opposed the SEIU’s takeover of Unite Here, a national hotel and restaurant workers’ union. [5] In another instance, Ringuette was criticized for defending Stern’s post-SEIU presidency work consulting for financial institutions that were longstanding rivals of the SEIU. [6]

AFT

Following her time working for the SEIU, Michelle Ringuette joined the American Federation of Teachers as assistant to the president for strategic initiatives, only staying for 11 months before joining Amnesty International as the chief of campaigns and programs. After just over a year at Amnesty International, she returned to the AFT as the assistant to president Randi Weingarten for labor, government relations, and political affairs. [7] [8]

Ringuette received $246,000 in total annual compensation in 2019 in her role at AFT. [9]

Board Memberships and Affiliations

In addition to the full-time positions she has held for left-of-center organizations, Michelle Ringuette has been involved with several other organizations as a board member or volunteer. She notably co-founded ALECExposed, a project affiliated with the Center for Media and Democracy that launched corporate pressure campaigns against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-of-center membership organization for state lawmakers. [10]

Despite helping lead a campaign alleging that ALEC is an illegal lobbying organization, Ringuette joined the board of the State Innovation Exchange (SIX). SIX was formed to be a left-progressive counter to ALEC and performs similar activities, such as hosting a model legislation library. [11] Ringuette has also served as the chair of SIX’s lobbying arm, SIX Action. [12]

Ringuette is also a board member of left-leaning groups For Our Future PAC and Working America. [13]

References

  1. “Welcome Michelle Ringuette! Amnesty’s New Chief of Campaigns & Programs.” Amnesty international. June 11, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  2. “Michelle Ringuette.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  3. “Michelle Ringuette.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  4. “Michelle Ringuette.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  5. “Where Is She Now? SEIU’s Michelle Ringuette.” Stern Burger with Fries Blog. September 24, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2021. http://sternburgerwithfries.blogspot.com/2012/09/where-is-she-now-seius-michelle.html?m=1 ^
  6. “Michelle Ringuette’s Dual Unionism with Andy Stern.” Stern Burger with Fries Blog. September 24, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2021. http://sternburgerwithfries.blogspot.com/2011/11/michelle-ringuettes-dual-unionism-with.html ^
  7. “Michelle Ringuette.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  8. “Welcome Michelle Ringuette! Amnesty’s New Chief of Campaigns & Programs.” Amnesty international. June 11, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  9. “AFT: Michelle Ringuette, Asst to the President. Union Facts. https://www.unionfacts.com/employee/American_Federation_of_Teachers/MICHELLE/RINGUETTE/ ^
  10. “Welcome Michelle Ringuette! Amnesty’s New Chief of Campaigns & Programs.” Amnesty international. June 11, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  11. Greenblatt, Alan. “Have Democrats Found Their ALEC?” The New Republic. January 3, 2020. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://newrepublic.com/article/156110/democrats-found-alec ^
  12. “Michelle Ringuette.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
  13. “Michelle Ringuette.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 8, 2021. https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/welcome-michelle-ringuette-amnestys-new-chief-of-campaigns-programs/ ^
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